Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 18 – Tuesday after 3rd Sunday of Lent
To Read: (Series 2 Episode 12)
[FINN is trying to win QUINN back after breaking up with RACHEL (teenage love affairs are fierce, frantic, and short-lived) and runs a Kissing Booth to raise funds for Glee Club but hoping to kiss QUINN. He catches a serious cold doing this and QUINN then RACHEL visit him in Sick Bay]
RACHEL: Where’s Quinn?
FINN: Uh… Uh, her mom picked her up a few hours ago.
RACHEL: Quinn really is very pretty.
FINN: You don’t have to do that, you know.
RACHEL: No. I would do it for anyone. She’s prettier than me.
FINN: Would you stop? You’re beautiful.
RACHEL: I know she is. It meant so much to me that you chose me over her. Girls like me don’t get chosen over girls like her very much. Did you kiss her? Like Santana said?
FINN: Yeah, yeah, but I just needed to get it out of my system.
RACHEL: So, what did it feel like? When you kissed her?
RACHEL: Did you see fireworks when you kissed me?
FINN: Rachel, wait.
RACHEL: No. It’s good. Thank you. Look, you’ve given me
the strength to move on. I know now that there’s nothing here for me anymore.
FINN: That’s not the truth. I still… I’m just… I’m so confused in my head right now.
RACHEL: No, it’s okay. Look, I understand. Now I’m free to pursue my dreams without anything holding me back. And you’ve actually inspired
my song selection for this week’s love song assignment. Feel better, Finn.
‘Firework’ sung by Rachel
Original Artist: Katy Perry
From the Scriptures:
27 When they had brought [the apostles], they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.’ 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30 The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Saviour, so that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’
33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 35 Then he said to them, ‘Fellow-Israelites, consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them – in that case you may even be found fighting against God!’ (Acts 5v27-39)
Do Not Resuscitate.
The first time I saw that label above the bed of someone I was doing a hospital visit as a volunteer chaplain in Ipswich Hospital for I was dumbstruck. Fortunately the patient was asleep and already drifting away to the dawn of the life after life but I had been sent to pray with her. I held her limp hand and spoke to her of God’s deep love for her since before her birth and commended her into the everlasting arms, and then I wept a little…
I had no idea why the DNR sign had been placed above her head I just knew that she, her family, her medical staff, or all three had come to the conclusion that the time would soon come when life support would be withdrawn and a new journey would begin. Until then, the lovely nursing staff kept her clean and nourished, brushed her hair and talked to her as she went on her final journey.
Sometimes in the journey of Faith the decision has to be made to turn off the Life Support machine of a previous practice, activity, or even belief so that we can go forward in a growing faith instead of being sucked in by a dead ritual whose grave bears the inscription ‘We’ve always done it that way.’
What we have received in the past may have brought us to faith and nourished us. Some of the groups we used to belong to, prayers we used to make, campaigns we used to mount, may have brought much joy and helped us grow closer to each other and to our Beloved. We may even have been the one who saw the vision for a work to be done by the church in the name of God and are dismayed that it’s Best Before Date has arrived.
What do we do, how do we cope, when we realise that something, some group, some devotion, some belief that has nourished and encouraged us has come to the time when it needs to be subject to a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order?
Rabbi Gamaliel gives us good and godly advice on how to cope with both the new and the old;
if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them.
A sure-fire way of finding out if something is or is not of God is to turn of the life support – its funding, its promotion, the provision of space and time for it to take place. If it still persists after that then get out of the way because God is at work here and we will need to hear Gamaliel’s words. If not then we find ourselves in a grace filled moment, ready and waiting for God to begin a new work in us and in our fellowship.
Rachel has finally come to see that her relationship with Finn is over. This is the end for Finnchel and, in a moment of self-knowing she realises that this is not so much a tragedy but an opportunity to lay hold of for her future instead of being held back by her past. She can wish Finn and Quinn well, and go forward proclaiming;
‘Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go, “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky
Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colours burst
Make ’em go, “Oh, oh, oh”
You’re gonna leave ’em all in awe, awe, awe
Tragedy always brings about
radical change in our lives,
a change that is associated with the same principle:
When faced by any loss,
there’s no point in trying to recover what has been;
it’s best to take advantage of that large space
that opens up before us
and fill it with something new.
- What spiritual practice or fellowship group you belong to has passed it’s ‘Best Before Date?’ Is it time to let go of it or hand it on to another.
- Pray for wisdom to discern where the Spirit is active (P.S. this is not always with fireworks and pitched battles). Then consciously surrender yourself into our Beloved’s arms and look to the future with joy and fireworks.
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 sublikescript.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.