Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 2 – Thursday after Ash Wednesday
To Read: (Series 1 Episode 5)
New Directions are in their first competition (Invitationals) but lead singer Rachel has left to join the School Musical. To fill her place Will drafts in April, a former student who never graduated.
[All the cast are dressed for the second half when Will enters.]
ARTIE : They loved us! We’re a hit.
TINA : Wh…Wh…Where’s April?
KURT : You were right, Mr Shue. She’d massacre Mariah in a diva-off.
WILL : April is amazing. But she’s not in the glee club anymore. It… I, uh… I screwed up bringing her here. It was about me and Glee Club is supposed to be about you guys. You don’t need her to be great.
MERCEDES : But we need her for the second act.
WILL : I’ll just have to go out there and tell them we had to cut the show short. Hey, guys. You were great. Don’t worry.
[Rachel enters at that moment.]
WILL : There will be other performances.
RACHEL : Excuse me? I think I might have a solution. In show business, when a star can’t perform, her understudy steps in. I’d be happy to go in for April, if you’d let me
MERCEDES : Since when are you willing to be an understudy?
RACHEL : Since I quit the play.
KURT : Really? Why?
RACHEL : I realized being a star didn’t make me feel as special as being your friend. If I’d let you down when you needed me the most, I’d never forgive myself. I know all the words to the song.
QUINN : You don’t know the choreography.
FINN : Then we’re going to have to give her a lot of help out there.
WILL : Go get in your costume.
‘Somebody to Love’ – Sung by New Directions.
Original Artist: Queen
From the Scriptures:
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4v9-12)
Do you know any Diva Christians?
You know those ones who are at the front just a little too often?
The ones who always seem to have everything right in their Journey home to Heaven and, though they may not smirk at others, they sometimes don’t seem to understand how difficult it is for other ‘ordinary’ Christians to answer the questions asked by the life of faith.
There is a thin line between following the call of God and self-satisfaction. I call it ‘Little Jack Horner Theology’ – what a good boy am I… It is a temptation common amongst those who are at the front with the microphone (or in the pulpit six foot above contradiction) to feel that they are God’s gift to the church and others should be grateful for their presence.
Looking at Rachel’s bid for stardom and Divahood, as well as the times I have found myself getting a little too big for my dog collar and wanting to be Lead Christian in the God’s Band, two conversations come to mind.
The first was with Rt Revd Duncan Buchanan sometime Bishop of Johannesburg. Speaking to a Clergy Synod about the challenge of ego subverting vocation and service he shared a prayer he wrote and challenged us to make it our prayer first thing each morning.
Today make me humble,
and if you can’t,
Try it. It may bring you a few ‘ouch’ moments but it sure works.
The second, more recent, words were in a sermon at a Chrism Mass in Bury St Edmunds where Dean Joe Hawes was preaching. He recounted the words of a nun who walked with him through his curacy. After his, shall we say ‘enthusiasm’, somewhat exasperated she turned to him and said, ‘Jo, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is there is a Saviour. The bad news is, it’s not you.’ (although, to be honest, the bad news is also good news).
Today’s actions by Rachel in giving up her bid for stardom and returning to New Directions and the response of the choir being willing to welcome her back prove that there is no ‘I’ in the word ‘Team’.
There is also no ‘I’ in ‘Church’ but there is a ‘U’ in the middle. Our task as we journey toward Easter is to remember to journey as a team and to always put someone else in the middle.
In the Christian walk there is no room for Divas and no warrant for one to Lord it over another as the Gentiles do (Mark 10.35-45). We need to remember, as has often been said, that the ground is level at the foot of the cross for Christ is over all and in all.
Being a Diva may put you in the limelight but it is a cold, lonely, frightening, friendless place to live. New Directions learnt early on the importance of being a team. The Church has been at the same task for two millennia and we still struggle. This is true both between denominations and within congregations. If you haven’t yet filled up your Lent ‘To Do’ list why not add something about being a friend and a team player with fellow worshippers and other nearby churches?
What is praised is one, so the praise is one too,
many jugs being poured into a huge basin.
All religions, all this singing,
The differences are just illusion and vanity.
Sunlight looks slightly different
on this wall than it does on that wall
and a lot different on this other one,
but it is still one light.
We have borrowed these clothes,
these time-and-space personalities,
from a light, and when we praise,
we pour them back in.
- Consciously take a lower place (Luke 14.19) than you had planned to in a church event.
- Try to pray Duncan Buchanan’s prayer early each day for a week.
Reprise: Click here to watch the original version of today’s song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kijpcUv-b8M
Prayers from ‘Prayers for Hard Times’ are copyright © Becca Anderson 2017
Scripture quotations are copyright © New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Transcripts of Glee Episodes were made with thanks to www.transcripts.foreverdreaming.org
These Reflections, ‘ ‘Gospel According to Glee’ are copyright © Andrew Dotchin 2021 and may be reproduced without charge on condition that the source is acknowledged