Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 26 – Thursday after 4th Sunday of Lent
To Read: (Series 3 Episode 10)
[EMMA ‘accidentally’ proposes marriage to WILL in the staff canteen which she quickly denies. This sets WILL thinking about a formal proposal until he meets with EMMA’s parents who remind him of her OCD and how difficult it will be for them to cope in a marriage – even though they already live together… EMMA decides to bring matters to a head]
EMMA: I want to ask you something.
Uh, not there. Could you… sit there, please?
Thank you. Okay.
You know how we’re always talking about moving towards marriage, then nothing really ever happens?
Well, I mean, Sue said that I should be all liberated and ask you to marry me, but… Um…
Do you want to be with me?
I mean, as your wife.
WILL: Of course I do.
WILL: I love you… you know that.
WILL: But what if we get married? What happens when we have a house? And a baby? How are you going to handle spit-up on your special Wednesday sweater? Sweetheart, you… you can’t control another person. What if it’s all just too much?
EMMA: Uh… I-I-I… I mean, I-I’ve been taking my medication.
You know, some… some days are great.
Some days… some days not so great.
But I-I-I’m… I’m… I mean, I’m-I’m doing the best that I can.
I’m-I’m… I’m doing everything that I can.
WILL: I know… I know you are, I know you are, and it’s not your fault that you have this… disease, but sometimes, it just seems so hopeless.
EMMA: Wow. Okay.
Can I promise you that I’m going to get better?
This is what you get, you know?
This-this… this incomplete person.
With… with toothbrushes and with rubber gloves and… and with so much love for you.
But if-if that’s not what you want, then… then you need to be honest with me.
And with yourself.
And the sooner, the better.
[In today’s song WILL’s makes his decision]
‘We Found Love’ sung by New Directions
Original Artist: Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris
From the Scriptures:
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews12v1-2)
Love, conquers everything… But it does this mostly through hard work and selflessness, forgiveness and patience, kindness and an unending choice in favour of someone other than yourself.
Our Beloved found that there were many obstacles on the road to demonstrate love. However He knew all about the joy that would be His and ours as he set us free from the slavery that the fear of death brought to us (Hebrews 2v14-15). For this reason He was happy and determined to endure pain and shame.
He met opposition from all sides, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the Herodians and even his chief disciple (Matthew 16v21-23); yet still carried on with this humbling and emptying of himself so that Love would win.
We, in our own limited way often make a play of love. We make it about feeling warm and cosy. That isn’t real love. Real love costs much more. Ask the Skin Horse in the story of the Velveteen Rabbit…
‘[Becoming real] doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose at the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’ (Margery Williams)
Those who have been under the cosh of love will have had most of their hair loved off, lost an eye, loose joints, and perhaps be a little shabby but they know it was worth it all.
Sometimes, on my journey homeward, I am tempted to give up on the tasks and (to my shame) the people, set before me by our Beloved because love is such hard work.
Like Will, I can be hesitant before making a commitment because I know that this love malarkey is probably going to hurt.
When that happens I need to remember that love is a conscious decision. Yes the warm glow and lovely feelings help lift the load and are balm for the wounds of life, but love is a determination to give ourselves away.
As the marriage service reminds us love decides;
…to have and to hold,
from this day forward
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death us do part;
This is the love which our Beloved showers upon us. Dying for us ‘while we were still sinners’ (Romans 5v8) Jesus shows us a love that goes beyond the grave and gives us the strength to try to love others as He loved us (John 13v34). And when we stumble and fall, need forgiveness or fail, He continues to choose to love us and calls us to go back to the coal face and ‘get the shit kicked out of us by love’.[i]
To Pray: The Covenant Prayer used by members of the Methodist Church speaks of a decision to love which mirrors the love of our Beloved for us.
I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you,
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you,
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.
- The first characteristic of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is ‘patient’. Today practice biting your tongue when someone you love annoys you. If it doesn’t work, try again tomorrow…
- Find a moment before Good Friday to pray, if possible in a place of worship, the Covenant Prayer aloud and alone.
Reprise: Click here to watch the original version of today’s song
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 subslikescripts.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
[i] From the film ‘Love Actually’. Worthwhile watching as a reminder that love is not all about ‘White lace and promises’.