Gospel According to Glee – 40 Days at McKinley High
Day 39 – Good Friday
To Read: (Series 5 Episode 3)
[FINN has died suddenly and the school and Glee Club gather together to make several memorials to him. WILL invites present and past Club members to sing a song to the Glee Club for FINN. After singing hers RACHEL meets WILL in the Choir Room]
RACHEL: Hey, Mr. Shue.
WILL: Hey, Rachel. I get flashbacks when you walk in here and say that. Good ones.
RACHEL: How are you doing?
WILL: Everyone keeps asking me that.
RACHEL: Well, from what I hear, you’ve been a rock for everyone, so I know that that means that sometimes you don’t get to grieve yourself.
WILL: I’m okay. I mean, I’m – I’m really not okay, but, uh, yeah, I’m – I’m okay. More importantly, how are you?
RACHEL: I have no idea. I talk to him a lot. I can still see his face and can hear his voice so clearly. Do you think that I’ll ever forget it? ‘Cause I’m afraid that one day, I will.
WILL: What do you talk to him about?
RACHEL: Anything. I mean, when we were dating, it was, you know, pretty much me talking all the time and him just pretending to listen, so it’s not really
I had it all planned out. I was gonna make it big on Broadway and maybe do a Woody Allen movie. And then when we were ready, I would just come back, and he’d be teaching here, and I’d walk through those doors, and I would just say, ‘I’m home.’ And then we would live happily ever after.
WILL: It’s a good plan. Did you tell him?
RACHEL: I didn’t have to. He knew.
WILL: And… now what?
RACHEL: I don’t know. Something different. Maybe something better.
I just… I don’t think that that’s possible. He was my person.
But thank you so much for doing this. I felt like I didn’t know if I would be able
to sing again, but now I know that I can. And I know that there have been a lot of memorials for him, but I had this made, and I was hoping that we could hang it in here.
WILL: (Looking at FINN’s picture and plaque) Did he really say that?
RACHEL: He was smart, just, you know, in an… in an untraditional kind of way.
WILL: Come on, let’s hang it right over there.
The song starts about a minute into the video after Rachel tells the Glee Club why this is her song for Finn.
‘Make you Feel my Love’ sung by Rachel
Original Artist: Adele
From the Scriptures:
[Jesus said] As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
12 ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another. (John 15v9-17)
The show must go… all over the place or something’
Cory Monteith, the actor who played Finn Hudson, died of a drug overdose just before filming of the 5th season of Glee began. After consulting with Lea Michele, the actor who played Rachel Berry and with whom Cory was in a relationship, the rest of the cast and the producers decided that the show must go on, even if it did mean that it meant it would have to ‘go… all over the place’, to continue.
In TV land this is unusual. When regular cast members in TV series leave, or have a change in circumstances, or even die, the show often propels itself forward as if nothing has happened. New actors appear in the same role and no comment is made, characters are written out of the story, or they are just not mentioned anymore.
Glee does it differently and so many of the words in this episode resonate with the love story of our Beloved for us. (This episode is well worth watching in Holy Week!) Rachel’s words before she sings her song grab my heart:
‘Before Finn, I used to sing alone and this was the first song that I sang with him when we would drive around together, so this is for him’
Yes! Before I knew my Redeemer I used to sing alone and now, because of His decision to die for love of my love, I no longer have to sing alone.
This is life changing because often I forget the words to the song and He gently repeats them to me.
Sometimes I sing off-key and He nudges me back into harmony.
Occasionally I sing the wrong tune all together and He patiently listens to the pain of the ballads of my soul, joins in and then transforms them into the music of heaven.
(The particular song that got me into serious singing with Him is Love Unknown)
Reading again the John’s account of Jesus at the Last Supper, and the long discourse which can sometimes be so convoluted (John chapters 13-17), I was struck by how suddenly things get serious. Feet have been washed (Chapter 13), fears allayed (Chapter 14) and Chapter 15 starts out nice and cuddly with a tale about being grafted into the True Vine and fruit bearing going on left, right, and centre by those committed to love. Then Jesus throws this curve ball:
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
After which He then goes back to speaking about fruit bearing and fuzzy wuzzy love!
This laying down of our life for love is part of the package. It’s not, as the Church Lectionary (and even Lent Reflections..) arranges a one day in a year special event. It is for every day of the year, for everyday of our lives. For this is what to be God’s friends requires.
Not many of us will be called to a literal laying down of our lives, though to this day people standing up for the love will lay down their lives.
Not many of us will endure great suffering or deprivation or loneliness to become friends of God, though across the World many will go the extra mile again and again and exhaust themselves in His service.
Not many of us will be remembered for how great our faith was or how many followed the Way because of our example, but each day we are called to sing a song that will proclaim, regardless of our circumstances, that we are hopelessly devoted to Him…. Or should that be hope-filled in devotion to Him?
From the broken body on the Cross comes a song of such richness and beauty that it calls us to die with Him and enter into a life that lives forever and brings hope and life to others. What is there to lose?
Again and again, and not only on Good Friday, we must remind ourselves, as my favourite gospel singer Amy Grant says, that we may be sometimes lonely but never alone. And when the pain is at its worst and the loneliness at its darkest He comes to us and says ‘Sing a love song with me…’
Listen to this one:
May the power of your love, Lord Christ,
fiery and sweet as honey,
so absorb our hearts
as to withdraw them from all that is under heaven.
Grant that we may be ready
to die for love of your love,
as you died for love of our love.
(Francis of Assisi)
- Sing a love song out loud! It really doesn’t matter which one, but if it is one that reminds you of our Beloved’s love for you that would be grand.
- Ask a friend what their favourite hymn or song of the faith is and why it is that one.
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 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.