Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 33 – Friday after 5th Sunday of Lent
To Read: (Series 4 Episode 1)
[WILL is rebuilding New Directions as many of the choir have left High School and are moving or have moved to College. JAKE (half-brother to PUCK) sings well but thinks he is rejected when stopped halfway through his audition. WILL calls him back]
JAKE: You wanted to see me?
WILL: Yes, I wanted to talk to you about your audition.
JAKE: Do you have any idea how hard I worked on that song? I was up for three nights getting it right, and you didn’t even let me finish.
WILL: Glee Club performs in front of hundreds of people. Some of them might boo you. You gonna throw a mike stand at them?
JAKE: So I’m angry. I got a right to be. You don’t know me. You don’t know my life.
WILL: I know your brother, Jake.
JAKE: Puckerman. Half-brother. Our dad’s like an NBA player. There could be 50 other Puckermans running around Ohio.
WILL: No one ever mentioned anything about having a brother. He doesn’t know.
JAKE: I get it. Now that you know I’m related to your boy, I’m good enough
for your stupid club?
WILL: No. When I saw you were related to him, I realized how much good Glee Club did him. Made me want to take a chance on you. But you’ve got to get that chip off your shoulder. And I interrupted your audition because I knew after the first verse that I wanted you in this club. You’re really good, Jake.
JAKE: You think I’m good?
JAKE: No! I’m not changing. I like this chip on my shoulder and I’m not losing it to sing for you. I’m not my brother.
‘Chasing Pavements’ sung by Marley and New Directions
Original Artist: Adele
From the Scriptures:
I am grateful to God – whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did – when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:3-7)
There is one thing worse than having to be better at the stuff your older sibling is good at. That is not being allowed to do other stuff because you should follow in your siblings footsteps. Welcome to the Catch 22 world of younger siblings the world over!
They may want to be different, be themselves, but they have the weight of expectation (or disappointment) that their siblings have prepared for them. And if you have a distinctive surname (we’re sorry Johnathan and Dan Dotchin) you will always be measured by your older sibling (we’re sorry Tim Dotchin) and judged according to their standard rather than by any measure of your own.
For this reason a younger sibling may often deliberately go against their natural gifts and abilities just to prove that they are not a ‘mini-me’ version of the first born. They may become a ‘rebel’, they may choose to withdraw from family rituals and traditions and refuse to participate in anything in which the older one (because they have had more practice) is better skilled than they are. Or they may, like Jake, get comfortable walking around with a permanent chip on their shoulder so that they stand out from their older siblings. Which is sad as this means, when they throw the bathwater out they lose not only their sibling but also any heritage that they might have treasured.
Will, however sees a family likeness between Jake and Puck – perhaps a same sized shoulder chip, refuses to let him go and aims to rekindle the gift within him. Click here to see what he does next…
The apostle Paul, in his encouragement to Timothy to ‘rekindle the gift of God within him’, reminds the young disciple that the old block he is a chip off of is a good and faithful one. Somewhere along the way Paul must have worried that Timothy was not as zealous as he could be (hence the need for a letter) and he decides to use the journey of those who have gone before Timothy to help him deepen his faith and his discipleship. Like Will and Jake, Paul sees in Timothy, who may feel a little shy because of his youth (1 Timothy 4v12) someone with great potential and so takes the time to mentor him and guide him in the faith.
Have you ever had a spiritual mentor? Are you a spiritual mentor to anyone? Part of the Rule of the Franciscan Community to which I belong is that all members must have a Spiritual Director. I have been blessed to have many people guide me on the journey homeward. And, as I try to guide others, I am always amazed at how much those who lead learn from those who follow. And I have come to learn that the less I allow myself to listen to the wisdom of those who walk alongside the more I listen to my own voice. Then for me the words of Ben Jonson become a living parable;
…he that was taught only by himself has a fool for his master
The truth is this, all Christians teach the faith. Other members of our fellowship are being ‘mentored’ by us every time they see us act with or without compassion. They are mentored by us every time we gossip rumours, half-truths and hatred instead of proclaiming a Gospel of love. We become their teachers every time we out ourselves before others instead of taking the last place. We are their guides whenever our key competency is holding on to grudges instead of offering forgiveness and extending the right hand of fellowship.
There is much to be gained from having a journey partner in the faith. What have we got to lose? Only a rather annoying chip on our shoulder…
Lord, take me where You want me to go;
Let me meet who You want me to meet;
Tell me what You want me to say;
Keep me out of Your way.
- Encourage someone in your fellowship who is young in the faith.
- Pray about having a spiritual friend with whom you can learn more deeply about the faith.
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