PB and I just finished watching season one of the NBC hit show “This Is Us”. I know — we’re a little late to the party. With season three in full swing, it will be awhile before we are up to speed on the Pearson clan. Don’t spoil it, please. I’m assuming there are many more tragedies in store, many more gut-wrenching, tear-jerking episodes in our future.
The endearing characters have wormed their way into our hearts. The concept of weaving together the generations is intriguing and compelling. The theme of family and struggle and growth really resonates. The Pearsons try hard to build a good life. They make plenty of mistakes and poor choices along the way, but we forgive them and keep on rooting for them. We hope Jack and Rebecca and Kate and Kevin and Randall find happiness.
But when season 1 episode 18 rolled the credits,
I didn’t feel inspired or heart-warmed.
I just felt sad.
Sad because these dear characters are empty —
yet trying so hard to find fulfillment.
Sad because they are all looking for significance and security —
things only a relationship with their Maker can provide.
Sad because they are seeking freedom from painful pasts —
something only God can redeem.
If “This Is Us” is an accurate portrayal of contemporary life in America, then its depiction should cause us to wonder, “What’s missing here?” Because what’s missing in the show is also what is missing in our increasingly secular culture.
If we are believers in the power of the resurrection to heal and bring hope into people’s lives, then we should be willing to display what that looks like to the watching world.
We need to be couples who take hold of each others’ hands and, in humility, pray together about our problems. We need to be families who seek out the direction and support of pastors and spiritual leaders when things get too hard to handle. We need to be people who understand sacrifice and selflessness in light of eternity.
I get it — a drama like this can capture the television viewing public.
But this is not us.
Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ….
without hope and without God in the world.
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, he who formed you:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.