Holy Saturday is traditionally observed in silent contemplation. Scripture doesn’t talk too much about what happened while Jesus lay in a tomb crucified, dead, and buried. In the Apostles’ Creed, we are told Jesus “descended into hell,” which is vaguely based on Ephesians 4:8–10 and 1 Peter 3:18–20. Of course, when scripture is silent, the imagination runs wild.
My imagination turns to two recent TV shows and with the pandemic, I am sure you’ve been able to binge-watch all four seasons of “The Good Place” (https://www.nbc.com/the-good-place) and at least five, if not all six seasons of “Schitt’s Creek” (https://poptv.com/schittscreek) (pronounced exactly how you imagine). Full disclosure, I haven’t watched the final season of Schitt’s Creek, so stay tuned for any course corrections down the line.
I want you to know these shows have prepared you to descend into the pandemic and emerge on the other side changed for the better.
Quick summaries, feel free to skip if you are familiar.
As I have stated in other blogs, I don’t believe in spoiler alerts, but if you do, be warned: I am going to spoil everything.
The Good Placetells the story of four people, Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason,who have died and think they have gone to “The Good Place.” However, it turns out they are part of an experiment run by “The Bad Place”designed to seem like “The Good Place.”There they are torturedin new ways…like there is no ice cream, only frozen yogurt. Along the way, they explore moral philosophy, confront their lives on earth, reconsider what it means to live the good life, and like purgatory, theyare allowedto become better people.
Schitt’s Creek is the story of the Rose family, Johnny, Moira, David, and Alexis, who lose their wealth caught up in a Ponzi scheme. With nothing left, they move to the town of Schitt’s Creek, which the father Johnny bought his son, David, as a joke birthday gift. The town is hell on Earth to the Rose family and their extravagant, eccentric lifestyle, which is no longer possible as they find themselves bankrupt and living in a rundown motel.
These shows explore in their own ways what can happen when given the change to see ourselves in a mirror and confront who we are, what we love, and how we treat other people. These shows were basically about pandemics and stay at home orders before they were cool.
In our current situation, we are forced to reflect on our own lives.
How do we spend our time when we don’t have restrictions? How do our values show up in pandemic-mode? What do we love according to how we usually live?Maybe we should ask questions about equity and justice—who is getting sick, who is dying, and what needs to change going forward?
On this Holy Saturday, let’s reflect on what resurrection looks like post-pandemic. At the very least, binge-watch two shows that help us ask big questions.