Acapella group Pentatonix recently released their take on the John Lennon classic ‘Imagine’ (with a fantastic video painting a wonderful image of inclusion, but that’s for another day!). It got me re-thinking about the lyrics Lennon crafted and the dream he had and it struck me that John totally undermined his opening line.

The song begins “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try”. He then goes on to describe heaven in detail. Allow me to elaborate; the song continues…

No hell below us
above us only sky.
Imagine all the people living for today.

This heaven is established on earth, the sky still beautifully suspended over us. All are living according to Jesus’ words in Matthew 6 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? …But seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

In heaven ‘shalom’ will be perfectly instituted; absolute peace and wellbeing for all people. No countries, no war or injustice; no death nor pain. No need for ‘religion’ or extremism because God will dwell with his people, and love will be evident for all as we enjoy life in all its fullness. 

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you

Poverty eradicated. Generosity and compassion abounding as each member of this ‘brotherhood of man’ – men, women and children – express the full humanity by putting others first and sharing ‘all the world’ with one another.

A contemporary musical classic, definitely. An insight into a poetic and visionary mind, perhaps. An example of missing the wood for the trees, absolutely.


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