Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 32 – Thursday after 5th Sunday of Lent
To Read: (Series 3 Episode 23)
[New Directions are on the brink of winning the National Championships and WILL is concerned that if they don’t they will never have the school look up to them but arguments breaks out as they prepare to go on stage…]
EMMA: You okay?
WILL: What if we don’t win? What’s gonna happen with those kids?
EMMA: It’s a competition. They understand that everybody can’t win.
WILL: But they never get to win. School’s almost over, forever for most of them. Can you imagine what, what it would be like for them to have just a couple of days walking the halls as champions? It’s something they would carry around with them for the rest of their lives.
EMMA: If you’re gonna lead them to the promised land, you’re gonna have to have an attitude adjustment. But, Will, they’re ready. You made ’em ready for three years.
WILL: But what if it wasn’t enough?
BEISTE: Will, you better come downstairs. We got a problem.
[They go to the rehearsal room to find the choir arguing)
WILL: Hey, calm down! Hey, hey, calm down! Calm down! Hey, cool out!
SAM: He’s studying for geography while we’re trying to rehearse! It’s bogus!
PUCK: ‘Cause I already know the dance! You dance like you got your feet caught in bear traps. You’re trying to gnaw them off.
KURT: Mr. Shue, are you aware that while we’re arguing about jazz squares, Unique is being handed the key to the city by Rahm Emanuel?
BRITTANY: And plus my pillow and my blanket fell into the pool. Disaster.
ARTIE: Look, I think everybody is just a little tired. We’ve been rehearsing for three straight hours.
FINN: Yeah, and we’ll rehearse all night if we have to. We can rest after we’ve won!
RACHEL: Just because we’ve lost Mercedes doesn’t mean we can be anything less than perfect. Perfect!
ARTIE: That’s easy for you to say.
SANTANA: Okay, you know what? You know what? Hey! I don’t want to hear any of this, “We can’t do it without her,” because guess what? We don’t have a choice. So be warned: if you are not giving this everything you’ve got, I will go all Lima Heights on your sorry asses.
WILL: Listen to yourselves.
SANTANA: I know. I’m sorry. I always go to the yelling place. I have rage.
WILL: No, it’s a good thing. A great thing. There is so much passion in this room. Even all your arguing, it’s about the work. You guys really want this. Okay, so let’s take a half-hour break, and then we’ll run it from the top.
TINA: Mr. Shue, is it okay if we keep going? We got the first slot, which is, like, the death slot. We have to be amazing.
QUINN: Yeah, “Edge of Glory’s” a bitch. I said I’d be dancing by Nationals. I’ll be damned if I don’t.
WILL: Okay, then let’s keep going. Mike, help the guys out with the choreography. Artie, help Puck with his geography. Ladies, “Edge of Glory.” Come on.
SAM: Brittany, run us through it.
BRITTANY: From the chorus?
SAM: Yeah, from the chorus. Let’s do it.
BRITTANY: Watch out. We’re gonna do it. Okay. Ready? Five, six, seven, eight. One, two, three, four, five…
‘We are the Champions’ sung by New Directions
Original Artist: Queen
From the Scriptures:
They came to Capernaum. When Jesus was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9v33-37)
Ego is a killer.
But we can’t survive without it.
If we do not pay attention to our ego
we can never become the people we are meant to be.
If we pay too much attention to our ego
we can never be the people we are meant to be either!
This last year has been hard on many people and egos seem to be more rampant than usual. Personally I have become fed-up and repulsed by the number of times and ways my own ego bangs up against the egos of others and only brings yelling and screaming as, like Santana, I give in and ‘go all Lima Heights’ on friends and co-workers. Like her ‘I always go to the yelling place. I have rage.’ And then valuable time is wasted in me mending fences instead of building God’s Church. I need help, but then I suspect many of us do…
The deepest lesson I have learnt in this time of pandemic is this;
In a battle of ego the loser wins.
What are we to do?
Who can save us from ourselves that we may become more our true selves?
Will recognised the power and passion that the egos of the members of New Directions brought and persuaded them to focus it beyond their own needs and fears and use its energy towards the goal of winning together.
Jesus does the same.
It’s after the Transfiguration, His disciples have worked out they are onto a winning ticket and now they are squabbling about who is at the head of the queue. Jesus calls them out for giving into their egos and shows them where the focus must lie. Not on themselves and the possibility of being in a high position. Instead he tells them that being great is about caring for the small things. When we know we are securely loved then it doesn’t matter if we are in last place or the first place. When we care for the little ones everyone wins and we are all champions.
His disciples seemed to have not paid any attention at all! Turn the page of your Bible and the disciples are making it difficult for Jesus to bless little children (Mark 10v13-16), and James and John continue the argument over greatness! He then explains to them what it costs to put our egos in their proper place
“You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10v42-45
Gulp! Much as I am upset with the damage my ego causes, I know I am not yet ready to always go all the way. Especially not this way. Is there any help for us or will life always be about arguing and losing and never about being champions?
This is why God gave us the gift of the Church.
People on the fringes of faith, or those upset about what is happening in their fellowship (perhaps egos have been raging?), often say, ‘You can be a Christian without going to church’. In one sense this is true because, thank heavens, our faith is dependent on a relationship with our Redeemer not our geography. However faith grows best and truest amongst the faithful. For it is as we meet in common service and love for others that we are convicted of the selfishness of our own egos and come to repentance.
Being a Christian is not only about going to church; something that many of us have learnt during this time of Lockdown. Being a Christian is about being the Church. And all the time we refuse to be part of the Church our ego reigns and, in thinking we have won, we lose.
When I had nothing more to lose, I was given everything.
When I ceased to be who I am, I found myself.
When I experienced humiliation and yet kept on walking,
I understood that I was free to choose my destiny.
(Paulo Coelho from, The Zahir)
- Find a church based project that has started during Lockdown and support it anonymously
- Give up your place in the next queue you are standing in to the person behind you.
- When did you last ‘go all Lima Heights’ on those you work and live with? Ask forgiveness if you can and do something kind. Here is a list of 40 suggestions from the Church of England in Suffolk.
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 subslikescrpits.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