Blog By Cherese Jackson
(Inspired by Pastor Sharon Kelly’s message series)
The Pearson family’s generational story unfolds in an emotional drama appropriately titled, “This Is Us – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” In moments of love, joy, triumph, and heartbreak, revelations emerge from parents Jack and Rebecca’s past, while triplets Kate, Randall and Kevin discover deeper meaning in their present-day lives. Successful businessman and father Randall searches for information about his biological parents. Kate finds love and self-acceptance while battling obesity. Kevin pursues a more meaningful career, which brings some difficult choices. With all of the family’s ups and downs and ins and outs, they proudly affirm, “This Is Us!”
The manner in which the Pearson clan is so uniquely put together ironically mirrors God’s family. He builds his church from whoever he chooses, paying no attention to the ways that we would judge or classify people. God formed our bodies, and his, in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable. We are a many-membered body that is composed of fragmented people, yet we are better together. We come to Christ with our own issues, some obvious and others not so apparent, yet, we all belong. Even in our dysfunction, we also affirm, “This Is Us!”
When we pause to look at the “misfits” that made up the New Testament church we find people living and working together with a number of different backgrounds. A fisherman named Peter, the political radical named Simon, tax-collector named Matthew, ruler known as Joseph of Arimathea, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a doctor named Luke, the former serial killer whose name was changed from Saul to Paul. There were tent-makers named Priscilla and Aquila, a prostitute named Mary Magdalene and a boutique owner named Lydia and a full-time mom named Mary. These are only a few of the people who joined the menagerie of church people and were accepted into the family of the beloved.
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. – 1 Corinthians 12:12, 15-22, 26-27 (CEB)
The Body of Christ is no different from our natural family. Every family has different members and they each have a story. In the dramatic series, “This Is Us” viewers see that the tiniest events in our lives impact who we become, and how the connections we share with each other can transcend time, distance and even death.
The diversity of the church is part of its glory. In Galatians 3:28, when Paul writes “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (BSB), he’s not just describing a state of affairs that happens to be true in that particular church; he’s outlining Jesus’s intention for the church at large. Yes, the body is fragmented, segregated and isolated, but with all of our issues and brokenness, “This Is Us!!” and God’s grace is sufficient.