Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 3 – Friday after Ash Wednesday
To Read: (Series 1 Episode 6)
[RACHEL approaches QUINN at her locker after the school has discovered that QUINN, though she is president of the Celibacy Club, is pregnant.]
RACHEL: I haven’t seen you at Glee rehearsals.
QUINN: I’m not superwoman. I know Glee is your whole life but I have the Cheerios, I’m on honour roll, I have friends.
RACHEL: You don’t have to be embarrassed. No one at Glee is gonna judge you. Look, I know everyone expects us to be enemies and be in competition, but I don’t hate you.
QUINN: Why not? I’ve been awful to you.
RACHEL: That was before you knew what it felt like to be me. An outsider. More people are gonna start finding out about this, and you’re gonna need friends who can relate.
QUINN: How can you relate to what I’m going through?
RACHEL: You don’t think people whisper about me in the lunchrooms or draw pornographic pictures of me on the bathroom walls?
QUINN: That was me, actually.
RACHEL: Look, I don’t agree with the choice you’re making, but you’re gonna need Glee. You have seven months of your youth left. You should enjoy it. And let’s face it, in a couple of months, that cheerleading uniform isn’t gonna fit and we’re gonna be all you have left. Just come back to practice. Boys versus girls. It’s fun. And we could certainly use your voice right now. You’re actually a good singer, Quinn. Occasionally sharp, but that’s just because you lack my years of training.
QUINN: I would have tortured you if the roles were reversed, you know?
RACHEL: I know.
To Watch: (from Season 1 Episode 7)
‘Keep Holding On – Sung by New Directions.
Original Artist: Avril Lavigne
From the Scriptures:
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3.12-14)
Quinn Fabray is the Queen Bee of William McKinley High School. The archetypical blonde at the top of the Cheerleading pyramid. She has the School’s Quarterback as her boyfriend, is president of the celibacy club, a trend setter in deciding who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’, and has every expectation that she will be the Homecoming Queen. She is the antithesis of all that Rachel is and has no problem at all with sneering at and insulting her. Then she becomes pregnant and the empire she has built through a mix of sickly sweet carrot and quite mean stick (see above) comes crashing down around her ears.
Quinn tries to keep up appearances, after all it is all that she has, but as Rachel points out this can’t carry on for long. Coming fresh from her own experience of the care of New Directions herself she can, with confidence, say to Quinn;
No one at Glee is gonna judge you. Look, I know everyone expects us to be enemies and be in competition, but I don’t hate you.
Rachel, although desperately in love with Quinn’s boyfriend, offers love and acceptance where the rest of the school offers only judgment and ridicule. She has learnt that unconditional friendship and love is the only solution to self-seeking and hatred. She goes the extra mile to be a friend with someone who sets out to be her enemy, and offers forgiveness even though none is asked for.
Harmony demands forgiveness.
I’m sorry there is no other way. Whether you are part of a choir, or a church fellowship, or a family, life will not be sung in tune unless forgiveness abounds.
For this reason when our Beloved teaches his followers about prayer he begins;
‘Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.’ (Mark 11v25)
Many church traditions, mine included, begin their services with a time of confession, so that we may be forgiven. However I don’t know any liturgies that begin with a time of forgiving…
I suspect that one of the reasons we don’t do so is that it wouldn’t fit into a neat little slot in the liturgy or time of worship. Also forgiveness, to be personal and effective, probably also needs to be private. Not for that reason should we give up on our Lord’s command that the first thing we must do when we pray is to forgive. This it is the key that unlocks our own forgiveness and surely we must find ways of adding forgiving into our personal prayers and relationships?
For me I know that the deepest reason why I do not always begin my prayers or my day with forgiveness is that I, perversely, want to be wronged. If someone has done something against me then I have an excuse for my behaviour towards them. I can cut them out of my circle of acquaintance. I can put them beyond the pale. I can whisper about them in church or, better still, broadcast their sin on social media.
When I probe the dark recesses of my heart I have to admit that the reason I don’t begin every time of prayer with forgiveness is because I simply don’t want to! I enjoy nursing a grudge. I want to see the one who hurt me be hurt in return. I am convinced that they are no longer worthy of my time and energy and if they end up being excluded from the church fellowship because of their sin then all well and good.
Am I alone in nursing these feelings in my heart?
Looking at the state of the church – far removed from the love-clothed community that Colossians 3 calls us to be – I suspect that many others, with me, do not so much follow the way of the Lord but stumble after him.
We must learn to become WTF Christians – Willing To Forgive again and again and again until we are once again able, with our restored sisters and brothers, to sing in perfect harmony.
Life is short and we have not too much time
for gladdening the hearts
of those who are travelling
the dark way with us.
Oh be swift to love!
Make haste to be kind
- Make contact with someone who has drifted away from your church fellowship.
- That grudge you’ve been holding on to, let go of it…
Reprise: Click here to watch the original version of today’s song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfcZpRm5M5I
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 gleetranscripts.tumblr.com
These Reflections, ‘ ‘Gospel According to Glee’ are copyright © Andrew Dotchin 2021 and may be reproduced without charge on condition that the source is acknowledged