Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 24 – Tuesday after 4th Sunday of Lent
To Read: (Season 3 episode 3)
[MIKE gets an A- grade in chemistry which is below his father’s expectations so he meets with the PRINCIPAL FIGGINS and insists that MIKE gives up both Glee Club and his girlfriend TINA (watch the interview here) MIKE takes extra lessons from a tutor to improves his grades but decides to secretly audition for a role in West Side Story. His mother finds him practicing his dance moves]
MRS. CHANG: What are you doing, Michael?
MIKE: I’m… just warming up for football.
MRS. CHANG: How can you look at me like that and lie to me? I got a call from your chemistry tutor when you didn’t show up. I covered for you with your father. So now I’m a liar, too. The least you could do is tell me the truth.
MIKE: I auditioned for the school musical. I don’t want to be a surgeon or a lawyer, Mom. I want to be an artist. Special. And the only time I really feel special is when I do… (he dances) that. Mom, please don’t cry.
MRS. CHANG: Michael, my job is to encourage you to live your dreams, not mine, not your dad’s. I was raised a certain way, and my parents had expectations of me and I simply was not as courageous as my son. I let go of my dreams but I never want you to do that. Do you hear me? So… do you know if we earned that part in the school musical yet?
[MIKE shakes his head “no”.]
MRS. CHANG: Well, when you do, we’re going to tell your father about it. Together.
MIKE: So what dream did you let go of?
MRS. CHANG: Like you, I loved dancing. But your waigong [grandfather] never let me take lessons.
MIKE: Some people think I’m a pretty good teacher…
[MIKE holds a hand out to his mom. They dance together.]
‘Fix You’ sung by Will and New Directions
Original Artist: Coldplay
From the Scriptures:
Whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:7-14)
In the world of Glee prejudice is often raw and on display so that it can be named, shamed and discarded. Today’s episode deals with one that we have all felt, perhaps have propagated, and are often unaware of the damage it does.
Mike, who wants to dance and sing, is hauled over the coals by his dad for only getting an A- (called in the school an Asian F – another prejudice) and being a disappointment to him and a disgrace to his family.
Emma, according to her parents has been a failure and a bit ‘freaky deaky’ all of her life and is never good enough but they cannot see that they are the reason why she has OCD. (watch the video here).
Parents have immense power to help a child grow and blossom. They also have power to crush a child’s spirit by trying to somehow mould them into their own image. Alanis Morrissette demonstrates this conditional love in her song ‘Perfect.’
Sometimes is never quite enough
If you’re flawless, then you’ll win my love
Don’t forget to win first place
Don’t forget to keep that smile on your face
Be a good boy
Try a little harder
You’ve got to measure up
Make me prouder
How long before you screw it up
How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up
With everything I do for you
The least you can do is keep quiet
Thank heavens for Mike’s mum and Emma’s boyfriend Will who have worked out that the best thing you can do to help them be the one you love is to help them become who they are. They both know they can’t change the past but they can make the future by being there to help ‘Fix You’.
This is a difficult task as we all come to learn that indeed ‘Happiness is an inside job’. But that does not mean we sit back and watch those we love suffer.
We are called to be cheerleaders for them.
Allies in their struggle against prejudice.
Buttresses supporting them when they are attacked.
Healers when they are wounded.
No passive watching.
No banal ‘thoughts and prayers’ comments without commitment to change things.
No ‘someone should do something about this’
No walking by on the other side.
Our Beloved went out of his way to embrace the least, the last, and the lost even though He knew it would cost Him His life. Can we do any less?
At the depths of despair, nothing matters.
I can’t do anything,
got to get out of here,
walls falling in,
throw me a rope.
I can’t move,
can’t stand it,
throw me a rope …
And one day,
like any other day,
finally tired of waiting for help that never comes,
make a rope,
tie it to a rock,
throw it up,
pull yourself out and walk away …
- Become an ally for a marginalised group.
- If it does not hurt too much, hand over to God an incident from your childhood when a dream was denied or an ability squashed.
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