Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 36 – Tuesday in Holy Week
To Read: (Series 4 Episode 12)
[RACHEL, who feels her career has stalled before it starts has agreed to pose topless in a student film. Her flatmate KURT tries to dissuade her without success so he calls in unlikely reinforcements in the form of SANTANA and QUINN]
RACHEL: (shouting to another room) Kurt, the hipster from downstairs with the curlicue mustache wants to borrow your Russian hat.
[SANTANA and QUINN enter RACHEL and KURT’s apartment]
RACHEL: Oh, my God! What are you doing here?
SANTANA: Lady Hummel called, begging us to do an emergency intervention.
RACHEL: On who?
RACHEL: So let me get this straight you guys came all the way to New York just to talk to me because Kurt called you?
SANTANA: We’re also here to shop.
QUINN: And we’re here to apologise to Quinn for slapping her across the face very, very hard.
SANTANA: (to QUINN) In theory. We’ll just see if that happens.
SANTANA: (to RACHEL) Rachel, you cannot do a nude scene.
RACHEL: It’s not a nude scene, it’s just a topless scene.
SANTANA: Same thing. Topless is as nude as anyone is ever gonna want to see you.
QUINN: Let’s say you do it. Think about the 2-2-2 rule. In two weeks, how are you gonna feel about the nude scene? You’d probably feel pretty great.
SANTANA: You’ll get to feel a nice, cool breeze on them skeeter bites, you’ll feel refreshed, even.
QUINN: Then, how are you gonna feel about it two months from now?
RACHEL: I don’t know. Nervous? Worried it may not even be good?
SANTANA: Rachel, it’s a student film. It’s not gonna be good.
QUINN: And two years from now? How you gonna feel about it then?
RACHEL: Guilty. Just… hoping my kids won’t ever see it online.
SANTANA: Oh, they’ll see it.
SANTANA: And they will never be the same.
RACHEL: Okay, wait. Why am… why am I even taking advice from you, okay? Didn’t you have a sex tape that leaked online?
SANTANA: Yes, I did. A sex tape that follows me around to this very day. Look my name up on the Internet right now.
RACHEL: (Searches for SANTANA’s name on her phone) “Santana Lopez, nude, lez, boobies, sex tape, Mexican or Dominican, question mark.”
SANTANA: Booyah. That will exist forever.
RACHEL: But Santana, some women find it empowering to be naked on film.
SANTANA: Yes, but not in a student film that is probably about someone’s grandma with Alzheimer’s.
QUINN: Look… we care about you.
SANTANA: And for once, Rachel, we actually have your best interests in mind.
QUINN: Please don’t do it.
‘Love Song’ sung by Rachel, Santana, and Quinn
Original Artist: Sara Bareilles
From the Scriptures:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; 5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3v1-13)
Being naked is about more than having no clothes on. When we do things for the lustful gain (or gaze) of another or to gain something illicit ourselves, be it riches, power, or fame – all of them can be ‘forbidden fruit – we will often find ourselves ashamed and feeling guilty. Sometimes this is because we are victims of another’s sin and at other times we walk into situations intentionally and try to ‘ride out’ the guilt. Rachel’s comment about some people finding nakedness to be empowering, is a response that is of the same order where the man blames the woman, and the woman blames the snake. Although when the man says, ‘the woman whom you gave to be with me’ he is really blaming God…
There is a different sort of nakedness though. A nakedness that comes with having an open heart and soul. A self-giving that comes from the security of knowing that we are loved perfectly and are so able to trust our whole being to the Beloved. This is how it was for our first parents to begin with. When God looked on them they were both naked and were not ashamed (Genesis 2v25).
Then self-seeking intervenes and when God comes looking for them (and us) we are found hiding in the bushes from the only One who has a remedy for our shame.
Later in the New Testament Paul speaks of a new nakedness that comes to those who open their hearts to the Beloved and looking forward to a time when we no longer need to hide and with unveiled faces, [we will see] the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3v18).
How though, until that glorious moment, do we cope with our guilt and shame, be it appropriate or well-deserved?
This is where more nakedness comes in. But not ours, our Beloved’s. There are very few representations of Christ on the Cross that are true to the facts of the Biblical text. This is not about skin tone or facial features but the simple fact that, for the soldiers to gain the spoils of their labour, they stripped the clothes off of those they crucified before raising their crosses. How else would they have our Saviour’s robe over which to gamble (John 19v23)?
As I ponder on this the nakedness of Christ adds for me a deeper meaning to Him carrying our sins for us on the Cross. His nakedness and shame is the answer for our guilt and shame and we are the ones who end up wearing robes of righteousness that we have not earned.
In today’s scene from Glee Rachel takes the advice of her former foes, now friends and singing partners, and gives up on stripping-off avoiding the guilt and shame that comes with it. We too have a friend who comes to us in this holiest of times to make an ’emergency intervention’ on our behalf, to cover our nakedness and wear our shame on the cross. Perhaps this Good Friday we may want to spend time gazing on that great love displayed naked for all to see and receive from the hill of Calvary.
Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress,
Helpless, look to Thee for grace:
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.
- If it is your practice make your Confession this week. If it is not write about your ‘nakedness’ in a letter to our Beloved. Seal it in an envelope and then burn it.
- Include in your prayers all those exploited by and trapped in the world of pornography. Pray also for those who use pornography that they may find their needs for affection met in healthier ways.
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 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.