In case you haven’t noticed, 2019 has been a pretty intense year.
With all that has been happening, we get that it’s hard to keep up with piece after piece of ground-shaking news. So without wasting time, let’s get up to speed.
THE K-POP BUBBLE BURSTS
2019 kicked off with the “Burning Sun” scandal, which exposed how celebrities like Seungri (BIGBANG), Jung Joon-young (2D1N), Choi Jong-hoon (F.T Island) and many more had been sharing illicit sex videos of women they took advantage of in their private chat groups. The scandal escalated when authorities discovered that drug deals, prostitution and bribery were occurring in that same nightclub.
The rest of the year proved tragic for the K-pop industry, after popular girlband artistes Sulli and Goo Hara were found dead in their homes within the span of a month.
Finally, the divorce of the Song-Song pair – K-pop’s golden couple – popped the bubble of millions worldwide.
If these stories have taught us anything, it’s about how our private battles are often unknown to the public. Whatever you’re struggling with today, muster up your courage to bring it into the light. We’re not meant to do life alone – we need one another!
THE FAMOUS FIND FAITH
Elsewhere in the world, things are looking up on the celebrity front.
In September, Justin opened up to his Instagram followers about the effects stardom and media pressure have had on him. Addressing his dark past, he described the negative effects that his fame and popularity brought him and even alluded to having experiencing depression before.
But Bieber shared how he found hope: “It’s taken me years to bounce back from all of these terrible decisions, fix broken relationships and change relationship habits.”
The singer-turned-worship-leader continued: “Luckily God blessed me with extraordinary people who love me for me.
“Jesus loves you.”
And if that wasn’t enough, Kanye West created an uproar throughout the world with a sudden declaration of faith this year. West dropped an absolute bombshell with his latest album Jesus is King, leaving many to wonder if his 180-degree change was just a publicity stunt.
But as the past few months have shown, West seems serious about his faith. Make of it what you will, his lyrics address repentance and sin, and he seems to have skilfully incorporated the Gospel message into his art – both in his music and movie.
West’s Sunday Services also host thousands of viewers in his online worship concert livestreams. He has even become a Christian conference speaker, having replaced John Crist on the Strength to Stand Student Bible Conference lineup.
“I’m done being an entertainer,” the megastar declared. “Only Gospel music from now on.”
BOMBINGS AND BREAK-UPS
Earlier this year, many lives were lost to the Christchurch bombings. The terrorist, who stomped into two mosques and began shooting, live-streamed his assault so that worldwide viewers could do nothing but watch his 17-minute massacre helplessly.
Less than a month later, as millions of believers celebrated Easter around the world, hundreds of people in Sri Lanka were blown up across 8 different locations on the same day.
A few months later, two famous Christians publicly walked away from God. Hillsong songwriter Marty Sampson and author Joshua Harris renounced their faith over social media. Both men had been greatly influential in their time.
NOTABLE GLOBAL MOVEMENTS
“Mental health” and “environmentalism” are some of this year’s biggest buzzwords. Pastor Jarrid Wilson’s suicide reflected the urgent need to address mental health within the Church today.
And of course, how could we forget about Hong Kong? Hundreds of thousands have been taking to the streets to reject China’s extradition bill since June. The conflict has even morphed into a sort of “civil war” between the different generations.
Despite the withdrawal of the bill, protestors are now fighting for all 5 of their demands to be met by the government. Peace has yet to be fully restored in Hong Kong.
Those were the biggest things to have happened in 2019.
In a world that’s getting darker, let’s remember that the true light that gives light to everyone has come into the world (John 1:9).
THINK + TALK
- What was the biggest thing that happened to you in 2019?
- Who would you want to share the Gospel with next year?