Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 4 – Saturday after Ash Wednesday
To Read: (Series 1 Episode 4)
[KURT after playing his first American Football game, is sitting at a mirror in his bedroom, spraying his face with a skin care product. He proceeds to work at his skin with a pink sponge. His dad BURT walks down the stairs and nods.]
KURT: Night time skin care is a big part of my post-game ritual.
BURT: Well, I don’t know what to say about that, but, uh… I was really proud of you tonight, Kurt. I wish your mom would have been there, I mean… alive.
[BURT turns to go away, but KURT stops him. He has something he wants to say.]
[KURT stands up. BURT turns around and focuses on KURT.]
KURT: I…have something that I wanna say. I’m glad that you’re proud of me, but I don’t wanna lie anymore. Being a part of the Glee Club and football has really showed me that I can be anything, and… what I am… is… I’m gay.
BURT: I know.
BURT: I’ve known since you were three. All you wanted for your birthday was a pair of sensible heels. I guess I’m not totally in love with the idea, but if that’s who you are, there’s nothing I can do about it. And I love you just as much. Okay?
[BURT brings KURT in close for a hug.]
BURT: Thanks for telling me, Kurt.
[KURT nods. BURT turns to go upstairs and KURT sits back down at his mirror.]
BURT: You’re sure, right?
KURT: Yeah, Dad. I’m sure.
BURT: I’m just checking.
To Watch: (Series 1 Episode 9)
‘Defying Gravity’ sung by Kurt and Rachel
Original Artist: Idina Menzel
From the Scriptures:
It was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written all the days that were formed for me
when none of them as yet existed.
17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 I try to count them – they are more than the sand;
I come to the end -I am still with you.
(Psalm 139 v 13-18)
A stereotype is a prejudice that has become acceptable to the majority of people.
In the world of show choirs there is one stereotype that resigns supreme, the Diva. The lead singer who sweeps all before her and brooks no opposition from anyone else. And in the stereotype that is the Diva the biggest prejudice of all is that she must be female.
Sometimes I think that every member of New Directions is a Diva of one sort or another. At other times I think that they are just being typical teenagers and in so doing reveal my own prejudice…
Today we have a ‘Diva Off’ between two lead singers, Rachel and Kurt and the surprising thing is that at the end of singing ‘Defying Gravity’ Kurt deliberately bottles it so that Rachel can have the part and he, newly Out as a Gay man to his Dad, doesn’t have to see his Dad suffer any more abuse because of him.
Afterwards he says these generous caring words to his Dad, ‘I’m not saying I’m going to hide in the closet. I’m-I’m proud of who I am. I’m just saying that I love you more than I love being a star.’
Kurt, perhaps because of the years of hiding in the closet and toughing out the daily routine of being thrown in the dumpster and slushied, has learnt to stand firm by standing against the prejudice of the stereotype.
To defy gravity, to be ‘through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game.’ is to refuse to knuckle under to the prejudice of others and find freedom as we escape the expectations of those who protest, ‘We’ve always done it that way.’ This is at the same time the only place where we can really be alive and also the place where we will come to die a little.
Our beloved leads us in this way as he, ‘for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, (Hebrews 12v2).
To be who we are requires that we let go of who others expect us to be. We must embrace the person who the One Who Love us Best made us to be when we were yet being ‘intricately woven in the depths of the earth.’
It matters not whether we are Gay or a Diva, Black, Latino or even (like Artie in New Directions) confined to a wheelchair, our Beloved calls us to be who we were made to be and not who someone else says we are.
When we know this deep in our souls. When we can finally, Martin Luther like proclaim, “Here I stand, I can do no other’. Then we begin to fly and in flying give others the courage to fly with us.
image of God
born of God’s breath
vessel of divine Love
after his likeness
dwelling of God
capacity for the infinite
chosen of God
home of the Infinite Majesty
abiding in the Son
called from eternity
life in the Lord
temple of the Holy Spirit
branch of Christ
receptacle of the Most High
wellspring of Living Water
heir of the kingdom
the glory of God
abode of the Trinity.
God sings this litany
eternally in his Word.
This is who you are
(Prayer of a Trappist Monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani)
- Who is the odd one out in your church fellowship? Defy gravity by letting them know that they are loved by you as well as by God.
- In a prayer offer to God all who you are including the quirky little bits that no one else seems to understand.
Reprise: Click here to watch the original version of today’s song
If you have time enjoy watching ‘This is Me’ from The Greatest Showman’.
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