As a young married couple trying to save for our first home, future family, and a fancy dinner every now and then, Austin and I seek to cut costs of everything we can. I cook for us 9/10 nights, he gave up his love for water bottles and switched to tap, and we trade in cable for Hulu.
So you can imagine that while the rest of the world live tweets the new hit series This is Us on Tuesday evenings, we turn away from any social media that might spoil the episode and wake up early on Wednesday mornings to get it in before work.
Y’all we are obsessed. The acting and writing is more “real” than any TV show that has crossed our screens yet.
And we LOVE to talk about it. Need a conversation starter with pretty much anyone? Ask them if they watch This is Us. You’re sure to get at least twenty minutes of genuine conversation out of it.
This morning as I perused Romans and came across this verse, my heart was stirred.
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How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
(Romans 10:14-15 ESV)
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You see, I am so quick to preach the gospel of This is Us. I am sure to convince anyone that this should be their next show. That they need to get in it before it’s too late. And I am sure that I am giving them some of the best news of their day. This show. This show will make you feel something. It will stir your heart like nothing has before.
Yet I am pretty slow to preach the actual best news of our lives.
And I know I am not alone.
If you clicked on this title, it was probably for one of two reasons: 1) You love this show as much as I do and want to read everything you can about it, or 2) you haven’t seen it and are curious about it.
There’s something about this story that seems to draw us all together. We are moved by the rawness of a family broken by a tragic death. We understand how one horrific moment can change the trajectory of our lives. We love the story of a good father who does things right, but we know that this earth doesn’t allow that goodness to last forever. We don’t see clean lines in this world and love a narrative portraying that.
First we have to preach…
Christians who are reading that, let’s begin recognizing that as the beauty of the Gospel. We are broken by the tragic ending of goodness in the garden of eden. We understand that something went wrong, bringing us pain and death and addiction. We want the hero to swoop down and save us, but we know that this world cannot promise that. Death gets in the way. Sorrow gets in the way.
That’s the difference of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Death didn’t get in the way, though it tried! His heart kept beating. His love kept going. It covers us even today.
So let us preach that Gospel. Let us tell this story.
Because they have to hear…
I spent a good hour convincing my in-laws this weekend that they have to start watching. No one else had quite been as enthusiastic with them. They hadn’t really heard.
So why do we expect that the Gospel will be the same? Yes, we lived in a country where Christianity is “everywhere”, right?
Let me assure you, it’s not.
Matthew 28:19 reminds us that sharing the good news of Jesus is not an option. It’s not something we should assume has already been done. John 14:6 makes it clear: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
It is of the greatest importance that we are sharing this Gospel. That the story we have been learning of for the last month in this Romans series is leaving our mouths just as it is entering our spirits.
Because believing is the end game.
You see, we love This is Us because it reflects the problem with this world and gives us hope in the pain. The difference between This is Us and this world is that there is hope that is eternal. It is not found in the best father to exist here on earth, but it exists in the reality of a perfect Father who broke the barriers of heaven and earth to come save us from our pit of darkness.
We are bended and bruised by the brokenness that exists here. We struggle with weight. We fight addiction. We battle anxiety. We are ripped from the loves of our lives.
And that is the story of this world without the hope of a Savior. That is us.
This is the story of a Savior in whom we have to believe. Only believe. Only follow. He will take care of the rest! He will wipe away our tears. And though He will not take away our pain while we are here, He will give us a real hope through that pain.
He will pull us from this world one day where we will be reunited with our loved ones who believed.
More importantly, we will be reunited with our Savior who escaped the death that Jack Pierson and the rest of us could not escape. We will be risen on the shores of eternity with our Father. He will always look on us in love. He will cover us in His perfect love. He will never leave us. He cannot leave us.
Preach this Gospel, sisters and brothers. You can even use This is Us as a lead in to it! But don’t end with the conversation of a fictional TV show. End with the hope of an eternal Gospel. A Gospel that is written for this people who need a Savior more than anything else. This is a people who’s Father already ran in a world burning to the ground and emerged with Salvation in Hand. This is a people who can have that salvation if they only believe. This is a people who need Him.
This is us.
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How often do you share the Gospel in comparison to talking about TV shows or sports or politics? Does thinking about that answer convict you? Share it in the comments below.
To continue going through Romans with us, read the following verses this week.
Romans Series Reading Plan:
Monday: Romans 9:1-13
Tuesday: Romans 9:14-26
Wednesday: Romans 9:27-33
Thursday: Romans 10:1-13
Friday: Romans 10:14-17
Saturday: Romans 10:18-21
You can either catch up with us or go at your own pace. This explanation of how to study the Bible might also be helpful. Thank you for joining. Please let me know how God has worked in your heart in the comments below.
In Christ alone,