I know that some people are excited about watching a football game today. I, alas, am not. My beloved Chicago Bears were eliminated by their dastardly rivals and I have been left with no team to cheer for.
But don’t cry for me – I have something to look forward to on TV tonight that warms me deep down in southern California when I am chilled thinking about my friends who are freezing in the NorthEast and on the Canadian Prairies: The return of Glee!
I love Glee. I will freely admit it in the face of scorn and disdain that undoubtedly follows every time I bring it up. I love Glee.
And no – it is not just because I am prone to brake out into song at any moment or spontaneously turn any car ride into an extended SNL skit.
It goes deeper than that.
I have been candidating for several youth pastor positions and in preparation I have been watching Glee. Every episode of Glee that I watch is like an extended metaphor – a type of parable if you will.
The writers of Glee have a gift that has nothing to do with weaving songs into ordinary situations… any Broadway musical wannabe can do that. NO – there is something else that Glee brings to the table and THAT is the true gift of Glee.
Here is the recipe:
step one- take any High School stereotype and cliche.
step two – simplify it down a notch
step three – intensify by two notches
step four – move it toward absurd one click
step five – add music
It is genius stuff ! This is how parables work best. Simplify it down so that it is clear. Ramp up the intensity so that it is obvious. Move it toward the absurd so that it is accentuated. Add music so that it is fun and catchy.
It may not be story telling at it’s best or worthy of a whole sermon, but this recipe is perfect for illustrations. In fact, I would go as far as to say this is what illustrations should be. It is equivalent to what the parables would have been like to those who first heard them.
I hope it is a good game today. I hope the commercials live up to the hype. Mostly I hope that the game doesn’t go into overtime!
I will be waiting for the return of Glee.
p.s. I hope that no one brings up the obvious by objecting to teenage sexuality. I would just have to ask you ” do you object to the fact that teens are sexual … or the that show acknowledges it in exaggerated ways?”