Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 12 – Tuesday after 2nd Sunday of Lent
To Read: (Series 2 Episode 1)
[It’s the new season and the members of New Directions need to recruit more voices to be able to beat Vocal Adrenaline. Rachel invites Sunshine Corazon to join but then discovers she is a threat to her place as lead singer. She makes Sunshine so unwelcome that she transfers schools and joins Vocal Adrenaline].
[New Directions have been discussing Rachel’s actions]
RACHEL: What did they say?
FINN: Well, I talked ’em out of giving you [the cold shoulder]. They were pissed, and they had the right to be. What you did was bad, Rachel. We could have used Sunshine to beat Vocal Adrenaline, and now they’re just that much stronger.
RACHEL: Just do it already.
RACHEL: Break up with me. Okay, we both knew it was just a matter of time.
FINN: I think you’re forgetting I’m not the quarterback anymore. I’m just another Glee loser now. Fact is, you should be breaking up with me.
RACHEL: I’ll never break up with you.
FINN: Me, neither.
RACHEL: I did it for the team, you know. I just, I-I love everybody so much, I didn’t want anyone else coming in and interfering.
FINN: You gotta stop saying that, Rachel. I care about you and everything, but you gotta admit the truth. You didn’t do this because you love Glee Club. You did it because you love yourself more.
RACHEL: Okay. I didn’t want anyone else hogging my spotlight. Okay, I love it too much to let it go that easy. Do you think that they’ll ever forgive me?
FINN: They’ll come around. I think apologising would be a good start. [Rachel lets go of Finn’s hand] Where are you going?
RACHEL: The auditorium. I just need some alone time first.
[Rachel sings “What I Did For Love” as she walks down the hallway, ending in the auditorium]
‘What I Did for Love’ sung by Rachel
Original Artist: Alyson Reed (in the movie of A Chorus Line)
From the Scriptures:
You do well if you really fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ (James 2:8)
Can we love our neighbour if we don’t also love ourselves?
Can we love ourselves without also loving our neighbours?
How do we learn to balance these two loves?
Rachel freely admits she loves the spotlight, but it is this part of her that gives New Directions and edge and help them win. In one sense (and getting to know Rachel you do have to look at this sideways a little) by loving what she does she loves the team. But also she does love herself rather a lot and tends to use New Directions as her personal Backing Group instead of them all being part of a team.
Her choice of song is perfect. Not so much for the words but for the original singer. In A Chorus Line we find Cassie, who is a famous solo dancer, auditioning for a part in a Chorus. She finds it difficult as she has to tone down her ability to fit in so that they can all become One. (go on listen to the song, or even watch the whole movie).
Rachel is beginning, difficult as she has such wonderful talent, that love can’t happen alone. When it does it sours and is called lust.
Ultimately it is all about the balance between ‘loving our neighbour’ and ‘loving ourselves’. The one is the mirror for the other and we need to have both.
If we love only ourselves we will end up using others as our tools to serve our lusts and we will become bloated, stuffed overfull with the goodwill of others.
If we love only others and neglect ourselves we will empty ourselves to feed the demands of others and, thinking ourselves unworthy of love, will shrivel and die.
I think the Jazz Band has got the balance right. The whole band starts together, the whole band ends together but in the time in-between everyone gets a chance to play solo. To do this the rest of the band must give way, show a little love and encouragement even, to whoever is playing the solo. Then, when finished they come back together for a few bars before another soloist shines. I think if St Paul wrote an epistle to New Orleans he wouldn’t talk about the Body of Christ in terms of Heads and toes, eyes and hands (1 Corinthians 12.12-21). He would simply have said ‘The Body of Christ is like a Jazz Band’ and everyone would have nodded in agreement, Paul would pick up his horn, Barnabas would be on bass, Apollos would be on drums and they would play their way into the Pearly Gates.
True love only happens when we love others enough and see that we are lovable.
True love only happens when we love ourselves enough to share that love with others.
For this reason it is very, very difficult to walk the Journey of Faith outside of a Community of Faith.
If we have no one to love in Christ’s name how will we know love ourselves?
If we do not let ourselves be loved there is no way we can ever be loving people.
Our Community of Faith is A Chorus Line. We lovingly watch over each other, keeping step, keeping time, keeping the tune so that when it is time for one of us to step out of the line for our solo we can go surrounded by love and sing in love with all those who have sent us.
And in so doing we will answer our Beloved’s Final Prayer on the night before He died for us, ‘that they may all be one….’
There is an Eye that never sleeps,
beneath the wind of night.
There is an ear that never shuts,
when sinks the beams of light.
There is an Arm that never tires,
when human strength gives way.
There is a Love that never fails,
when earthly loves decay.
1) If you are someone who often has a lead or solo part to play in your faith community stand back and let someone else shine.
2) Look in a mirror and say the words ‘God loves you’.
Reprise: Watch the movie 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