Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 8 – Thursday after 1st Sunday of Lent
To Read: (Series 1 Episode 18)
[Kurt is trying to bond with his dad by adopting his redneck style and music (Ain’t That America) but in the end gives up his attempts and sings “Rose’s Turn” as a protest. Unknown to him his dad is listening]
BURT: That was some serious singing, kid.
KURT: That was “Rose’s Turn.”
BURT: I could get into that, maybe.
KURT: What happened to the hoagies?
BURT: Ah, blew it off. You know. Too much cholesterol.
KURT: I bet Finn was disappointed.
BURT: He understood. Once I told him how bent out of shape I thought you were.
KURT: Me? I’m fine.
BURT: Kurt, I’m dumb, but I’m not stupid. And I have no idea what that song was about, but “fine” don’t sing like you just sung. Look. Maybe I got carried away doing stuff with Finn, but, you know, I told you this thing with you was going to be hard.
KURT: Thing with me. You mean being gay.
BURT: Yeah. Being gay. Look, I will fight to the death for your right to love whoever you want, but when you were a little baby in my arms, did I dream about taking you to baseball games and talking about girls? Yeah, I did. A lot of fathers do.
KURT: I had no idea how disappointing I was.
[Kurt starts to walk away.]
BURT: Hey, come on. Now stop it right now. I’m talking straight to you. Don’t go playing the victim. You know that’s not what I mean.
KURT: I know. I’m sorry. I know you’re working hard on yourself to make all this okay. Just seeing you, the way you are with Finn, how easy it is, breaks my heart.
BURT: Is that why you were pretending to date that daffy cheerleader? And dressing differently, and singing Mellencamp?
KURT: I just want you to know that I’m going to work as hard as you to make this okay.
BURT: You don’t have to work at anything, Kurt. Your job is to be yourself. And my job is to love you no matter what. Okay? That and a majority ownership in a tire store, that’s all we got. Okay? We stick to that, we’re going to be great.
KURT [tearing up]: I missed you, Dad.
BURT: Oh, come here. [They embrace.] I love you.
KURT: I love you too.
‘Ain’t That America’ sung by Kurt
Original Artist: John Mellencamp
From the Scriptures:
Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; 4 rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3 v3-4)
Walking the way of faith is a delicate balance between becoming and being.
Our Beloved has cherished us for every single moment of our life, even if we did not respond to that love at first. There is a Divine Spark inside each of us which God recognises and chases after our love throughout our life. We are loved because we are made in the Image of God and, if push comes to shove, ‘being’ ourselves is all that God desires of us.
Yet at the same time we are in a process of ‘becoming’. When we fall in love with another, and more so when that love is returned, we want to change. Amongst the young (especially adolescent boys!) grooming habits and clothing choices improve dramatically. Knowing that we are valued by one person in particular may make us want to ‘become’ a different person. As a blokey bloke, I know I can always tidy myself up a bit around the edges and I have some habits that really annoy my darling Lesley-Anne (sorry sweetheart). But if I change myself too much she may not recognise the person she fell in love with in the first place!
Our call is not to become a different person, like Kurt trying to buddy up with his redneck dad, but instead become better at being who we are. We are loved by our Beloved and in God’s eyes who we are is perfect. Our actions may disappoint God but never our identity. After God made us to be us and, as the pioneering Ethel Waters said, ‘God don’t make no junk’.
For some people this is a harder task than for others. For those in persecuted minorities, and Kurt being Gay is a case in point, being who you are can be dangerous and so people hide their identity so that they can survive if not thrive.
Many of us have gone through life denying ourselves not so that we can become better versions of ourselves but so that we will fit in and please those around us. Alanis Morissette in her song ‘Perfect’ describes what ‘pushy parents’ can do to a child.
Be a good girl
You’ve gotta try a little harder
That simply wasn’t good enough
To make us proud
Sadly, church fellowships can also be ‘pushy’. Instead of helping members become more the person God made them to be they end up making them into some sort of twisted facsimile of the church leaders. Jesus had a name for this sort of religious leader, whitewashed sepulchres!
This does not mean that churches should condone sinful behaviour and give up being a community of penitents. Rather that we should seek to help people become better versions of themselves by encouragement rather than condemnation, by using words of love not threats of judgement. Jesus did not come to condemn sinners (John 3v17) but he sure had some harsh words for those religious leaders who were in the business of haranguing the Children of God.
As Kurt’s dad reminds us telling people to become someone they are not is not our job;
Your job is to be yourself.
And my job is to love you no matter what.
It is all too easy condemn and judge people who are different to us.
It is much more difficult to love them into being who they are, a Child of God made in the Image of God.
Let’s choose the difficult way to become the Body of Christ
I believe there is Someone waiting for me, Waiting to say :
” Welcome Home ! “
Someone I have never seen, but whom I will recognize in the depths of my heart because He has lived there since the beginning of time.
Someone who has never doubted my return,
never failed to still my doubts about my return.
I believe there is Someone who knows me so intimately,
loves me so totally, that joy will spark spontaneously
when we reunite in the land of immortal Birth.
Tears will be wiped away;
Sadness and fear will disappear as mist when it meets the morning sun.
This is whom I seek, seeks me.
He has never left me alone.
For He is Self of my self,
Soul of my soul,
Life of my very life.
(Sister Joan Metzner)
- Think of someone you have been tempted to condemn recently. Do something loving for them.
- Spend time reading the Song of Songs and ponder how much God loves you.
Reprise: Click here to watch the original version of today’s song
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