Imagine there's a heaven - why I rewrote 'Imagine'

There’s a wonderful tradition of Christians repurposing the art of the world to communicate gospel truths. In Acts 17, we read of Paul quoting Greek poets about Zeus to point people to Yahweh, and many of us have read how CS Lewis used creatures of ancient mythology to create a scene like the stone table in Narnia.

For me, I do things like write a children’s book about Santa learning the gospel and making that silly Hamilton parody last Christmas.

The recent Olympic Opening Ceremony got me reflecting once again. As they played John Lennon’s “Imagine” I thought how odd it was to sing about imagining “no countries” just before we saw a procession of countries step into the arena ready to compete. Also, it seemed slightly ironic to imagine “no possessions” when they all would be working so hard to be rewarded with that coveted gold medal.

But mostly I felt sad about the utopia the song attempts to offer us – a universe with no heaven, hell or religion. A humanity where we have no cause worth dying for and where everyone simply lives for today.

I thought the kingdom Jesus offers is so much more beautiful. And wonderfully, it is not one we can only imagine. Because he came with something to die for, it is something he offers to each one of us.

So, I put pen to paper once again, and with the vocal and instrumental contribution of the talented Tony Hutchinson, I edited together this little reflection that I call, “Imagine There’s a Heaven”.