Unless you’ve been taking a holiday in the middle of a tropical rainforest or up a very tall mountain for the last month or so then you’ll probably have heard of the internet sensation that is ‘The Harlem Shake’. This simple video idea has taken YouTube by storm and different versions of peoples’ own recreations have been uploaded in their thousands.
The format is pretty simple:
The video will start with one person who normally wears a helmet or a mask dancing around in front of a group of apparently oblivious or uninterested people.
Then when the bass drops, everyone goes nuts.
Suddenly everyone else is dancing too, and what’s more they’ll normally all be wearing odd costumes or holding bizarre props.
The quality and entertainment of each video varies between incredible to absolutely woeful. The fun of it is that so many people take part- if you were to watch one video in isolation it would leave you wondering what the point of it was
So why has it taken off so quickly?
There are two very simple factors: firstly absolutely everyone gets to play, nobody is excluded. Add on to this the fact that it’s so simple and easy to understand and it’s much clearer to see how it’s got so popular.
Sounds pretty familiar to me.
Isn’t this exactly how the good news of Jesus is supposed to be? The heart of the gospel is so profound yet you don’t need a theology degree to get it. It’s the foundation for a whole way of life and there’s no next level; we never graduate from the cross and resurrection. God loves us more than we could possibly know and He showed it when He sent His son to bear all of our brokenness through dying for us and defeating death by being raised again. At it’s core, it’s fairly easy to grasp. And it’s for everybody.
“All are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” – Romans 3:24
If this is the case then why aren’t we seeing a Harlem Shake-style revival hit the nation?
Perhaps we haven’t presented this amazing truth for what it truly is. Perhaps it’s our responsibility to show people what Jesus is all about.
Often when people think of Christianity the first thing they’ll associate it with is a whole bundle of rules and regulations, rather than understanding that grace means we rely on Him alone. The important thing is allowing Jesus into our lives and through this He will begin to transform every aspect of who we are.
If God’s great rescue plan is for everyone then we need to truly live this out and welcome people with open arms.
Regardless of who a person is, or what they have done, we have all fallen short of the glory of God and need to experience the new life given by God’s grace. Let’s try to put aside the judgment, leave that bit to God and know that Jesus loves all of us, equally.
Following Jesus is exciting. Far more exciting than any internet craze. Let’s become living examples of just how exciting it can be.
Then maybe we’ll begin to see it catching on.
Soul61 intern for Soul Action