Tag Archives: glee

It’s been a pretty easy 40 days

From Lent a couple years ago.  Wow, nothing like throwing up all my own frustrations all over the congregation.

 

It is the third Sunday of lent, and my intention was to deliver a nice little homily on lent and what we get out of our forty days in the desert.  Then the week happened.  And I didn’t really realize it was happening until I started thinking out this message.

First, yet another observation while watching Glee.  For one of the gayest shows on TV – Glee regularly shows Christians as concerned, thoughtful caring people.  What happened on the show this week was a student tried to kill himself because of who he is – gay – and the grief that he receives from other students because of it.  And then the small Christian community on the show rallies around him.  Of course this kind of thing makes me think of some of my students, past and present, and the crap they have to take for who they are–gay, poor, outsiders.

Also this week there’s been all the the Kony stuff on Facebook that resulted in a brief discussion in one of my classes about Kony, who if you don’t know, is apparently responsible for the enslavement of tens of thousands of African children.  “Why don’t we go after him?” one of my students asked.  “Because,” I proposed, “his victims are black, African, and children. Not a big voting block in this country. ”

Earlier this week I listened to an interview with a man who works in an organization called Love 146.  They work to make dents in the global sex slave industry, the annual revenues of which come in at between 12 and 32-billion dollars a year.   It didn’t take much of listening to his experience to make me want to throw up, and then hurt a lot of people, really hurt them.  And this guy has adopted several kids, and would like to adopt more. I don’t know a lot about this guy, but it seems clear according to Matthew that Jesus would call him brother.

And so I think about all these kids–the outsiders at Adrian high school, and at all the other high schools across the country; the children in Africa who have watched their parents murdered and have been forced into military service; and the hundreds of thousands of children suffering sexual exploitation in the world. 

And I want to talk about my lent?  About my forty days?  I’ve given up drink and taken on reading a bit of Matthew in the mornings.  Rough, huh?

I don’t know what I’m going to do with all this stuff that’s come at me this week.  I don’t know how or if it will change me.  I sort of wish it would.  I sort of hope it doesn’t.  I wonder what the disciples thought about after watching or hearing about Jesus being crucified? Did they get that he was showing them how to love completely.  Not by making occasional small symbolic sacrifices, but by giving up everything, by forgiving his killers and praying for his enemies, and showing the way for everyone, not just the chosen, the fortunate, the powerful?

So I will continue to observe Lent in my small way in order to remind myself daily what Jesus means to me.  But this morning as we remember his life and death and resurrection, let’s encourage one another to follow Jesus.  And I don’t mean following all our little rules.  I mean to walk in his steps, to go where he went, to die to ourselves, and to love who he loved, to love how he loved, every day, the best we can.

Amen.

All Things on Earth

This is from four years ago, back when we watched Glee and Community.  I got into a little trouble with this one as a couple of my high school students were in church that day and knew I was talking about them.  Really, of course, I was talking about all of us.  I just used them as an example.

 

As we remember this morning Jesus life, death, and resurrection, I want to share something that I’ve been noticing, something encouraging and challenging too.  I’ve noticed the reconciliation that comes through Christ.

Colossians 1:19 & 20 says, “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Christ, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

Reconciliation is setting things right, bringing them back into balance.

The other night we watched To Kill a Mockingbird with the kids.  What a great movie.  Atticus Finch played by Gregory Peck is one of the greatest fathers, or even men, captured on film.  Atticus works to reconcile the racial divide in 1930’s Georgia by representing falsely accused Tom Robinson in court.  And he brings reconciliation to himself and his neighbors through his gracious behavior toward outcast Boo Radley.

Even in the ridiculous comedies that I watch on tv, I see moments of seriousness as a Muslim takes the hand of his Christian friend and says to her, “You humble me.”  Her response: “You humble me.”

Or when Mercedes in Glee brings her friend Kurt to church in an effort to support him in his grief over his father’s heart attack.  And there, Kurt, a gay unbeliever, a staunch atheist, find himself surrounded by people who have just met him, and yet offer the love and support that his friend knew they would.

And in  real life – on facebook.  If you are facebook friends with Hannah or Amy or Stacy or Sherri, for example – there are many of these people our there, you will find daily examples of the kind of grace and peace and encouragement that brings people together.

At school I see students working to raise money for the poor in Africa, reconciling the vast economic differences that plague God’s children around the world.

And of course this church continues to be an example of reconciliation – two bodies, split over seemingly irreconcilable difference, come together again.

But, this reconciliation is not complete.  Under this roof there are still those who feel out of balance with each other.  High school students are much better at reconciling with Africans who are thousands of miles away, than they are of forgiving the classmates who they’ve been friends with for years.  Facebook can be as depressing as it is encouraging.  And we have so much work to do when it comes to reconciling to Christ our treatment of, and our relationships with, homosexuals, atheists, Muslims, racial minorities, and others who are different from ourselves.

But god is faithful, and I believe his work of reconciling all things to himself and making peace through his blood shed on the cross, continues.  Let’s pray that we can be instruments of that peace as we remember now what Christ has done for us.

Amen.

Atticus Finch and Kurt Hummel

This one is from October of 2010.  I don’t remember what comedy it was with the Muslim and the Christian.  Community?  I caught a little heat from my high school students for this one–“You were talking about us!”

As we remember this morning Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, I want to share something that I’ve been noticing, something encouraging and challenging too.  I’ve noticed the reconciliation that comes through Christ.

Colossians 1:19 & 20 says, “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Christ, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

Reconciliation is setting things right, bringing them back into balance.

The other night we watched To Kill a Mockingbird with the kids.  What a great movie.  Atticus Finch played by Gregory Peck is one of the greatest fathers, or even men, captured on film.  Atticus works to reconcile the racial divide in 1930’s Georgia by representing falsely accused Tom Robinson in court.  And he brings reconciliation to himself and his neighbors through his gracious behavior toward outcast Boo Radley.

Even in the ridiculous comedies that I watch, I see moments of seriousness as a Muslim takes the hand of his Christian friend and says to her, “You humble me.”  Her response: “You humble me.”

Or when Mercedes in Glee brings her friend Kurt to church in an effort to support him in his grief over his father’s heart attack.  And there, Kurt, a gay unbeliever, a staunch atheist, find himself surrounded by people who have just met him, and yet offer the love and support that his friend knew they would.

And in  real life – on facebook.  If you are facebook friends with Hannah or Amy or Stacy or Sherri, for example – there are many of these people our there, you will find daily examples of the kind of grace and peace and encouragement that brings people together.

At school I see students working to raise money for the poor in Africa, reconciling the vast economic differences that plague God’s children around the world.

And of course this church continues to be an example of reconciliation – two bodies, split over seemingly irreconcilable difference, come together again.

But, this reconciliation is not complete.  Under this roof there are still those who feel out of balance with each other.  High school students are much better at reconciling with Africans who are thousands of miles away, than they are of forgiving the classmates who they’ve been friends with for years.  Facebook can be as depressing as it is encouraging.  And we have so much work to do when it comes to reconciling to Christ our treatment of, and our relationships with, homosexuals, atheists, Muslims, racial minorities, and others who are different from ourselves.

But god is faithful, and I believe his work of reconciling all things to himself and making peace through his blood shed on the cross, continues.  Let’s pray that we can be instruments of that peace as we remember now what Christ has done for us.