Words of Worth

This is JesUS

February 16, 2017

Jack Pearson’s Son. The title of the latest episode of the widely popular drama, This is Us, about the family lives and connections of several people who all share the same birthday and the ways in which they are similar and different.

In this Valentine’s Day episode, Kevin, one of Jack Pearson’s three children, is nervous about his performance on opening night of his play. His nerves get soothed, however, as he receives advice from his late father’s best friend, Miguel, who is now married to Kevin’s mom. “Kevin, you are Jack Pearson’s son, you have him inside of you. Remember that and think about what he would do.”

It turned out to be great advice, and so as not to write a spoiler here, I’ll encourage you to watch the episode and see how this advice fleshes out. But watching the show, and hearing, “What would Jack do?” made me think of the “What would Jesus do?” (often abbreviated WWJD) rage in the 90s. The phrase served as a reminder to Christians to act in a manner that would demonstrate the love of Jesus. If we didn’t know what to do in a given situation, if we didn’t know what the most loving response should be, we simply needed to ask, WWJD? It was a slogan so popular that millions of objects-bracelets, t-shirts, coffee mugs-were emblazoned with it.

Charles Sheldon, an American minister in the late 19th century, is the person who is credited with coming up with the phrase, even though he never received a penny of the millions of dollars made from the acronym’s popularity in the 20th century. During a series of sermons, Sheldon would share an engaging story in which characters would face a difficult moral decision or situation, and then end each story on a cliffhanger and the question, “What would Jesus do?”.  It proved to be a sure way to increase the attendance at the following week’s Sunday night service!

Jack Pearson’s son. You have him inside of you. Remember that and think about what he would do. This is Us.

Jesus Christ’s child. If you have Him inside of you, remember that when you’re not sure how to love well, and think about what He would do. This is Jesus

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

I John 3:16 (NIV)

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