Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 34 – Saturday after 5th Sunday of Lent
To Read: (Series 4 Episode 1)
[Now that many of the choir have left High School there is a need to find new members and especially a ‘new’ Rachel to be their lead singer. MARLEY ROSE wants to join but the Club, not knowing she is Marley’s mum they make fun of the new Lunch Lady]
ARTIE: When she sits around the house, she really sits around the house.
FOOTBALL PLAYER: Attaboy. Attaboy!
[MARLEY overhears the remarks and meets her mum in the kitchen where she is repairing a sweater for MARLEY to wear]
MARLEY: Hey, you ready to go?
MRS ROSE: Hey. I thought that you could wear this to your glee audition. Well, even if they think it’s second-hand, the tag will say high-class second-hand. It’s high school; It’s all about being special. But… the right kind of special, not Goodwill clothes, daughter-of-the-lunch-lady special.
MARLEY: You really think I have a chance of getting into Glee Club?
MRS ROSE: You have magic in your throat, Marley. It’s time to share it with the world. I’m going to drive the car a couple blocks away, and I will wait for you there. I don’t want to risk anyone seeing you get in the car with me.
‘New York State of Mind’ sung by Rachel and Marley
Original Artist: Billy Joel (and Barbra Streisand)
From the Scriptures:
Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. 12 What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. (1 Corinthians 1v10-17)
The Queen is dead (well at least moved to College in New York) long live the Queen. As National Champions the now popular Glee Club returns to a new school year with a spring in its step and people wanting to audition to join them. The search is on for the ‘New’ Rachel and among the candidates is Marley Rose. Things almost never get going as they make fun of her morbidly obese mum who loves her to the point of hiding herself from Marley’s friends.
Whenever someone, especially a leader, moves on in a church fellowship there is usually a search for the ‘New’ Rachel. Someone who had all the good characteristics of the old leader and none of the faults – not that candidates will be told any of this, they will simply be expected to know all the minefields of previous pastoral problems, navigate them successfully, and be a breath of fresh air without changing anything at all.
The fact is that there is never a ‘New’ Rachel, and if there was she would not be able to do anything good as the ‘Old’ Rachel will have given that fellowship all the ‘Rachel’ gifts it can cope with. Hence, be it amicable or not, the reason for the change.
The more I read the New Testament epistles to the Early Church the more I realise that we have never yet read them. Fruit of a faith that is all about change, acceptance, love and forgiveness, sometimes the Church seems to have tradition, rejection, conditions and judgement as her key competencies. And when this happens we, once again, empty the cross of its power.
Just as Marley, hesitant, bullied and bulimic is not Rachel who was ambitious, eager, and to be honest a little spoilt so Paul is not Apollos or Cephas. I am not my predecessor Robert, who is a dear friend and much better at being a proper vicar than I can ever be, and I will collude in emptying the cross of its power if I ever give in to the temptation to be anyone other than the one who our Beloved has called me to be.
What ties Rachel and Marley together, as Marley’s mum so wonderfully puts it, is that they both have ‘magic in their throats’.
What ties Paul and Apollos and Cephas together is their common passion to proclaim the Good News.
What ties my friend Robert and I together is a deep concern for those who sit on the margins of life.
We all have a different song to sing but we sing with one voice. There is no hierarchy within the love of Holy Trinity and there is no place for it in the Body of Christ either.
This means we need to be on our watch for, what the older versions of the Bible called ‘party spirit’ (Galatians 5v19-21) and other works of the Flesh and instead use the Gifts of the Spirit, our individual vocations, to produce the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5v22-23), our common harvest because;
…those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5v24-26)
The good news for Marley is the Glee Club apologise and make up and they go on to make even more music. Not that all goes well. Their new-found popularity lasts just one episode as by the end Kitty Wilde, the new captain of the Cheerios, leads her crew of football jocks in administering Slushies on the new members….
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down,
lift your heart toward heaven,
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled,
and it will be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you
from lifting your heart toward heaven – only you.
It is in the midst of misery
that so much becomes clear.
The one who says
nothing good came of this,
is not yet listening.
(Clarissa Pinkola Estes)
- Thank a past leader of your church fellowship.
- Encourage a present leader of your church fellowship.
- If you are searching for a new leader pray that they and you will be, first and foremost, led by the Spirit.
Reprise: Click here to watch the original version of today’s song
Well… A duet between Billy Joel and Barbra Streisand
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 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.