Okay, Christians, now let's get in formation... (You follow me...)

Unless you’ve been hiding out somewhere for the past week (that, or avoiding all forms of social media) you’ll be aware that Beyoncé (yes, I’m talking about Beyoncé today- bear with me…) recently released her latest track entitled ‘Formation’. Now, I don’t have the time, space or desire to unpack what I think about the song, or Beyoncé, here. Because really, that is not the point of this post. I did, however, take some time to think about the hysteria surrounding anything that this woman seems to put out into our current culture. Beyoncé, herself addresses this in her latest release. She makes mention of the rumours surrounding her involvement in the Illuminati amidst other things. Essentially she endeavours to silence and/or shame the critics, which of course, she never will. Because whenever Beyoncé puts something out there, however many positive messages she wants to include, cute shots of her daughter she wants to feature, there will always be someone who wants to comment on what she’s not doing right.

 

In light of this recent release, what was predominantly brought to my attention was the amount of Christians who had something to say. Whether it be her #blacklivesmatter shout out being labelled as ‘not black enough’ or ‘too black’, or even this same, tired ‘she’s Illuminati and if you listen to her music, so are you’ argument, I couldn’t help but wonder why so many believers felt it so important to voice their concerns for Beyoncé’s choices without presenting an alternative.

 

Upon reflection, I was reminded of a moment in Jesus’ lifetime. Rumour had got out that the Son of God would be betrayed and Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples was especially interested in what all of this meant. Interestingly, Peter’s concern wasn’t about whether or not he was in the firing line (which is ironic because he later went on to actually, very publicly betray Jesus- awkward) but whether or not John was. Jesus had some choice words for Peter.

 

“Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:22)

Those words must have stung. They must have brought Peter back to reality with a bang. The reality check was needed, though. Peter had gotten so concerned with the outcome of his friend’s life, that he’d forgotten he had his own to live. His own decisions to make and actions to take.

 

And Jesus’ instruction? It was simple: ‘you follow me’. As 21st-century believers, we don’t need to be told that following Jesus isn’t the easiest road, but that it is the best. It’s not the path which will bring us the most popularity, but it can bring us peace. It’s not the direction we head in for wealth and riches, yet in Jesus, we receive something priceless. So, if we’ve counted the cost, cut our losses and started boldly following Jesus, why are we still so caught up about why Beyoncé’s weave is blonde, rather than saying something about this glorious salvation we’ve received?

 

Jesus offers hope, truth, love and joy beyond measure and there are people we know who have never heard that.

 

Speaking about Jesus won’t necessarily make us overnight talking points like Beyoncé is, every time she breathes. But that’s not the point, is it? This 21st culture, more than ever, needs modern day prophets to speak into our context. To speak His light into darkness, His beauty into ashes and His control into chaos.

 

‘You follow me.’ The command Jesus gave Peter is the same one He gives us today. Are we lending our voices to what matters most? Are we speaking up about the Jesus we know or wasting far too much time telling people that Beyonce apparently doesn’t know Him? Let’s learn to speak about matters of the Father’s heart, loudly. He wants to hear our voices give Him the glory. He gave them to us.

 

You follow me.

Mark JohnesComment