Where the pregnant cheerleader, the rebel misfit, the disabled student, the girl with the stutter, the girl with a larger than life ego, the gay young man and the football player who lacks direction can unite in joy and share their gifts…
…Or so Jesus would say if he was telling a 21st century parable.
Now, I haven’t had much chance to watch Glee in the last couple of seasons. But this year, I’ve revisited the show a few times and watched some of the last episodes including tonight’s finale.
Back in the fall of 2009, my group of fellow seminarians would get together each Tuesday night during our last year of seminary to watch Glee. It was our ritual, joining with the diverse Kingdom of God to watch a show about the diverse Kingdom of God. The weekly Sabbath hour of watching Glee became our time to fellowship together before the eventual parting of ways at the end of the year when we were called to different corners of the world to serve.
Glee was something to which many of us could identify. Some of us had been bullied as young people. Others had come out to their friends and family. I think on some level, most of us felt like outsiders who came together with a common love and sense of call – just like Will Schuester and the Glee club.
In tonight’s finale, Rachel explains that Glee club is “Somewhere safe” and a place where people “learn from each other and be who we are including those who are different than us. When we look back on our time here, we should be proud of what we did and who we included.”
Sue concluded with the following:
“It takes a lot of bravery to look around you to see the world, not as it is, but as it should be. A world where the quarterback becomes best friends with the gay kid. And the girl with the big nose ends up on Broadway. Glee is about imagining a world like that, and finding the courage to open up your heart and sing about it.”
The way Jesus explains the kingdom of God is this idyllic place, a place where all people are respected and given dignity. All are experiencing the justice and peace that flows from God. Through Rachel’s and Sue’s words, we are reminded that the ideal kingdom of God is a safe place where we learn from one another and where we appreciate each other’s gifts. It’s a place where people who are extremely different from one another can join together to share life and build up our neighbors.
The Kingdom of God is like Glee, reflecting all of the similarities and differences between people – and the unity between them – joining together to make a melodic world.