Can You Imagine It?


“In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains … and all the nations shall stream to it.” Isaiah 2:2

“Imagine there’s no heaven.” That’s the first line of John Lennon’s famous (some would say infamous) song, recorded in the spring of 1971. “No hell below us; above us only sky.” And then – “Imagine all the people living for today.”

I suppose if everyone were “living for today” there would be no more “imagining”. One of the issues I take with Lennon’s song is that it seems to assume if we deconstruct borders, boundaries, religious differences, possessions, hunger, we would have the perfect world.

“Imagine all the people sharing all the world …” We don’t have to “imagine” that. It’s a reality. We DO share all the world – all of us. What we lack is a common, shared focal point.

“Imagine no religion …” OK. But what if, instead, we were to imagine religion as Isaiah saw it – not as an oppressive, manipulative force telling people what to think or do (or imagine), but the expression of a God whose love embraces all and who draws all creation into the joy and hope of some wonderful divine truth?

Can we imagine that? I don’t disagree with what John Lennon sang about and hoped for; I just think it’s going to take us working through some of what he tries to imagine away in order to discover the peace he pines for.

It’s Tuesday … Let’s imagine together that world where swords are transformed into plowshares.

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John Lennon: Imagine

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.