The most popular show on television in the key 18-49 demographic is “This Is Us.” It is a huge hit in just its second season. What has made it so popular? The answer lies in its powerful writing and outstanding acting but mostly in its focus on family relationships.

The title of the show refers to the Pearson family – Jack, Rebecca and their three kids, Kevin, Kate and Randall. Pregnant with triplets, Jack and Rebecca lose one child at birth. And then this white family adopts Randall an African-American baby who was abandoned the same night Kevin and Kate are born.

The show alternates between the present and flashbacks to various periods in their family life. We see how the lives of the three children intertwine with each other and their parents.

The title of the show expresses “This is who we are” and “This is our story.” And quite a story it is.

Kevin is a former sitcom actor seeking to make it on stage and in films while dealing with a prescription drug addiction. His twin sister Kate is obese and trying to lose weight while being engaged to another food addict. Randall is a successful, driven professional who struggles with anxiety attacks. And Rebecca has married Jack’s best friend after his untimely death in a fire.

We can relate because we all have a family. Everyone knows what it is like to be in relationship with people you are related to for life. Seeing these adults as children reveals how decisions made in childhood reverberate throughout our lives.

Some of us had fairly normal childhoods. Others had really great family life. And then there are those who experienced violence or abuse. Whatever your background we know life is not linear. There are many ups and downs on the ride of life.

Our childhoods impact our lives today sometimes in the reminders of old hurts and sometimes in the remembrance of special times. We are who we are because of what has formed us. But no matter what the past may beyou are not anchored to your past.

Easter’s message is one of grace, restoration and hope. Jesus came so we can be forgiven and so we can forgive others. His death on the cross and his resurrection victory mean we are free.

You are not what you did. You are not what others have done to you. You are God's masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good works. You are a child of the living God.

God loves us and proved it by sending Jesus to save us. His love means we can love others. And maybe the hardest to love are our own family members. But with God’s help restoration is possible. Healing can happen even in the most broken relationships.

Since Jesus rose from the dead anything is conceivable. There is always hope because nothing can be more hopeless than death. Love can be revived - any relationship can be resurrected.

Easter is the perfect time for renewing, restoring, reviving a relationship. Let God’s love flow through you. Be willing to forgive like Christ has forgiven you.

Jesus came for all humanity. He loves everyone. And he wants us to love as well. Receive his love for you and share it with your family because this is love, this is real, this is life –this is us.


About Rick McDaniel

Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of​ six​​ books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.

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