Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 29 – Monday after 5th Sunday of Lent
To Read: (Series 3 Episode 16)
[WILL has been having a talk with FINN about options for College placements when he leaves High School and hands him some prospectuses to read. After he leaves WILL’s office FINN puts them in the rubbish bin…]
WILL: Come with me.
FINN: What, are you going through the garbage now?
WILL: Oh, come on. I know you were just humouring us in there. I could see it in your face. So I followed you out.
FINN: What was I supposed to say, man? S-Sorry, I’d rather puke than spend a minute in any of those places? Right in front of Rachel, with a big smile on her face, all proud of herself?
WILL: She just wants what’s best for you.
FINN: Yeah, she does. Until she realizes her fiancé is a total loser.
WILL: Is that what you’re scared of?
FINN: It’s the truth. Doesn’t anybody understand that maybe the reason I don’t know what to do with my life is because I’m not qualified to do anything.
WILL: You just don’t know what you want yet.
FINN: What I want is for time to stop. Okay? I want it to feel like I’m on the football field and the crowd’s going nuts! Or I-I want it to feel like I’m on the stage during a performance, and everybody’s on their feet.
WILL: So let’s find something out there that gives you that feeling.
FINN: Of being young? Where is it? Show me.
WILL: I want you to watch this for me. [WILL puts Video of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ into the TV]
FINN: Look, Mr. Shue, I don’t really feel like doing my Glee homework right now, I just…
WILL: I think you know what you want for your life. I think you’re just scared to say it out loud. I want you to see what it looks like when someone follows their dream, even though everyone else tells them it’s impossible. You can do anything you want to, Finn. It’s not the broken dreams that break us. It’s the ones we didn’t dare to dream.
‘You Should be Dancing’ sung by Blaine
Original Artist: The Bee Gees
From the Scriptures:
I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. 11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4v10-13)
What did you want to be when you grew up? How did it work out?
I wanted to be a Dentist in the Royal Navy and even had a place to study at the Royal Dental Hospital of London (now part of Guys Hospital). Instead of healing teeth and gums I find myself with the cure of souls. Am I disappointed that my dream did not work out? Not at all! Apart from the joy that comes with knowing that I am following God’s will for my life instead of my wishes, I would not have travelled to South Africa and met my beloved Lesley-Anne; whose love and care for me is as much a part of my vocation as any sermon I ever preach.
In Senior year at William McKinley High everyone is looking to leaving and moving on. Rachel and Kurt are destined to be divas in drama school in New York. Mercedes is pondering taking a leap of faith and move to college in Los Angeles. Finn, failed to get a place at acting school and faces a future of working in his step-dad’s tyre shop or enlisting in the Army.
For the young dreams are an important reason for waking up in the morning, (in this episode the word ‘dream’ is said 33 times!). Dreaming of the future is the one thing that young people are able to do that older folk simply can’t. This is one of the reasons why I love working with and encouraging young people to dream big when I work with groups such as Air Cadets, Sea Cadets, Scouts, and Guides. My hope is that I can share enough of my own experience with them to persuade them to reach out for a dream that will help them live the fullest life they can. I’ve never yet worn a cheerleaders outfit but sometimes I think that is my role; to stand on the touchline and shout, ‘Go Team! Go Teen!’
My problem is, as I have told many young people, I am now old. I have climbed up mountains (the Drakensberg), I have been arrested (John Vorster Square) and I’ve been on protest marches (Felixstowe), and it is tempting to say that that is enough. The energy that young people bubble over with challenges me to not give up on the call that has been laid on my life. They inspire me to carry on dreaming. My bones may creak a little, I may be more useful as a supporter than as a shaker or a mover, but there is life in the old dog yet.
The apostle Paul had a dream. A dream of telling everyone that they were loved and offering them the free gift of eternal life. But his dream offended both Jews and Romans. So instead of being able to enjoy the fruits of a life lived for others he finds himself in jail and, wonderfully, feeling ok about it;
I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. (Philippians 4v11-12)
For Paul, the dream didn’t quite work out how he had hoped it would. But he ended up ‘living the dream’ as he found out that there is nothing more wonderful than following the call of our Beloved. If it leads to beatings and prison, that’s fine (2 Corinthians 6v4-10). If it means he is shipwrecked and suffers snake bites, that’s another opportunity to spread the Good News of God’s love (Acts 28v1-10). If it means spending your last years in jail destined to be killed with a sword, that becomes a privilege to walk in the footsteps of Christ (Philippians 3v7-11).
Sometimes I think the early apostles where stark raving mad – something which King Agrippa and Governor Festus also thought! (Acts 24v24-29). But being ‘crazy for God’ has always been in fashion…
For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. (2 Corinthians 5v13)
Paul’s dream was to be obedient to the Voice of Love that beat within him and share that love with others. When we learn to follow that dream then it really doesn’t matter if we become a dentist or a vicar, a singer or a tyre fitter. All that matters is that our heart responds to the Call of God us and we sing the song of love whichever hill we find ourselves climbing.
So… here is an extra song to listen to today. This song has kept me returning ever since I was a teenager, to the place where ‘His hand is on my shoulder, every boulders sings song of love, and His laughter calls me on and on until the morning dawns when there is only love…’
Hill Climbing for Beginners by Water into Wine Band
my life will shine as the morning sings
i walk in liberty bound in true dreams
manifested promises chase my forward motion
a covered path before us
the fruits of my hoping
the fruits of my living
today i purpose to love
my love will speak
with the sound of grace
merciful within mercy
the works of my faith
smiles of overflowing
inspire my giving
abundance of joy as rain
the fruits of my living
(michael john faciane)
- Give thanks for God’s call on your life and anything that you have been able to do in God’s name to serve others.
- Read Isaiah 6v1-8 and make Isaiah’s offer in verse 8 your own.
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 subslilkescripts.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.