Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 23 – Monday after 4th Sunday of Lent
To Read: (Series 3 Episode 1)
[It’s the beginning of a new school year and several members of Glee Club have left or transferred to other schools. To encourage people to join WILL places purple pianos around the school and ask the club to sing whenever they pass one. BLAINE (who has transferred to the school at KURT’s request) sings ‘It’s Not Unusual’. At the end, the Cheerios – at SUE’s instigation – pour lighter fluid all over the purple piano. QUINN drops her cigarette onto the piano and it catches fire. Later in the CHOIR ROOM. The glee club meets to ‘lick its wounds’ Enter WILL and BLAINE.]
WILL: Ladies and Gentleman, let’s hear it for Glee Club’s newest member, Blaine Anderson.
BLAINE: Thanks so much, everyone. I’m so thrilled to be here. It’s gonna be a great year, I can feel it. We’re all gonna go to Nationals!
WILL: Is there a problem, guys?
FINN: I just want Blaine to know that we’re not the Warblers. You know, we’re not into the bells and whistles or the ball-hogging.
[BLAINE sits with the rest of the club.]
SANTANA: I’m sorry, did I do something wrong?
FINN: Well yeah, you set a bonfire in our courtyard.
SANTANA: Actually, doorknob, that was an act of political protest.
WILL: Which leads me to the next order of business. Santana, you need to leave. It was you and the Cheerios who set fire to our piano. How could you do that?
SANTANA: Mr. Schue, Sue made me.
WILL: Brittany didn’t do it.
BRITTANY: Well yeah, I was gonna help, but I dunno, I’m the watersign, so…
WILL: You’re banned from Glee. Don’t come back unless you can be as loyal to this club as the rest of the people in this room.
[WILL holds out an arm to the door, indicating that SANTANA should leave. SANTANA walks out.]
‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ sung by Rachel and New Directions
Original Artist: Cast of Hairspray
From the Scriptures:
‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector. (Matthew 18v15-17)
The students and staff at William McKinley may appear very childish in their behaviour (cutting piano strings, food fights, and a variation on Campfire songs!) but I suspect that Christians have behaved in just as puerile and vindictive a manner in coping with their disagreements.
Santana, now in her senior year ,should have been stepping up to responsibilities as a young adult but she is seduced into betraying herself by accepting Sue’s offer of becoming captain of the Cheerios. She is not finished with the fellowship of Glee but for now they journey on separate pathways.
Have you ever been excluded from a church fellowship?
Have you ever been involved in excluding someone from a church fellowship?
How did it go and does it still hurt?
If it doesn’t still hurt, or at least call you to prayer for our broken Body of Christ, some re-visiting of the event may be needed…
Disagreements in the church are hard work, but done well they can become places of holiness and growth.
To follow the Conflict Resolution steps outlined in Matthew’s gospel is not easy. I have found that, instead of speaking quietly, speaking with one or two others, bringing the whole situation before the church, is almost always replaces with, ‘I’m-so-angry-I-won’t-tell-you-what-you-did-wrong-but-I-will-tell-everyone-outside-the-church-and-probably-a-national-tabloid-as-well!
Sound familiar? It is so difficult and I am no expert and am on record as not having always dealing with things in the best way. Occasionally I am just ham-fisted, sometimes I am incompetent. I hope that I am never uncaring.
How are we to cope when fellow worshippers won’t be faithful to the community?
How are we to cope when we ourselves find that we can no longer walk in the same fellowship with others?
First, we need to remember that, even though our experience of the Church may be fractured there is only one Body of Christ. Like it or not, agree or disagree, we are one and even if we can’t meet together our Beloved still holds us together.
The last time General Synod was opened Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household, preached about our unity even in the middle of our disagreements;
In many parts of the world people are killed and churches burned not because they are Catholic, or Anglican, or Pentecostals, but because they are Christians. In their eyes we are already one! Let us be one also in our eyes and in the eyes of God.
Second, we must follow the advice of the gospel and the epistles on disagreements and aim to be reconciled. The One who proclaimed ‘Father, forgive them’ from the cross must week every time a Christian holds a grudge against anyone but especially so when the grudge is against a fellow member of the Body of Christ.
Third, we must commit ourselves to talk first to the people involved in the disagreement instead of talking about the people involved in the disagreement.
Too often, and there are various reasons why this happens, instead of speaking to the person who has upset someone in church, it seems easier to talk to someone else who doesn’t have all the facts who may then feel pressurised to ‘take sides’. When this happens we make what is called a Drama Triangle and nothing is easily resolved. Occasionally, but only very occasionally, we may need to talk to another person first, but a good rule of thumb is, ‘If you have a problem with someone talk to the person you are having the problem with.’
But all of these steps must be wrapped up in love and care. For no matter how big the disagreement, how ‘heretical’ or ‘sinful’ the people in the situation may be (or even accuse you of being) everyone is made in the Image of our Beloved. We must aim always to be kind and loving for when we do this for the broken parts of the Body of Christ we love ourselves. Reconciliation is a win/win situation which is why our Beloved came to us;
For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15 He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. (Ephesians 2v14-16)
Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. (Ian Maclaren)
- Have you any unfinished business over a disagreement with a fellow Christian. Try to do something to bring healing to both of you before Easter.
- Sometimes reconciliation does not happen. Resolve to pray for God’s blessing on those with whom disagreements remain.
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