Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Remembering John Lennon, Oct 9, 1940-Dec 8, 1980

Today marks the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death at the hands of a deranged fan. Lennon would be 70 had his life not been cut short. We can only imagine how he might have influenced art, spirituality, and politics had he continued to live and create. Unfortunately, we will never know. John is forever 40.

Speaking of imagining, I am sure that Lennon's most iconic song, Imagine, is being played every hour on the hour around the world. It's interesting to me that the Anglican church in Lennon's hometown of Liverpool decided not to play Imagine on their church bells, because the majority of parishioners were offended by the opening line: Imagine no heaven...

Whether there is a heaven is something we cannot know for certain while we are still alive. I have reasons for believing that the soul is eternal, that there is a creator God, and that Jesus gave us all an example of how to love and worship God. That said, I believe it's also fair to say that churches have capitalized on our innate fear of death, and used images of heaven and hell to control our behavior. I listen to Imagine, and I do not hear atheism. I hear freedom.

I would like to call attention to a different John Lennon song: Instant Karma (We All Shine On).

Instant karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet,
Better recognize your brother
Everyone you meet!

Instant Karma video on YouTube