“Imagine all the people living for today.”—John Lennon

Last December, there was much “hoopla” about the 30th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon. He was well-known as a composer, musician, and cultural icon, especially during his days as a member of the Beatles (admittedly as a child of the 1960s, I was a big fan of the Beatles; their album, Abbey Road, was one of the first eight-track cartridges I ever purchased [Kids, ask your parents what an 8-Track is]). His 1971 hit, Imagine, still gets radio airplay, and in the 21st century, it has even been granted “elevator music” status. It is the first verse of that “classic” that has never resonated with me:

Imagine there’s no heaven,
It’s easy if you try;
No hell below us,
Above us only sky;
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

It has always been my opinion that such an attitude was innately foreign to the words of the Apostle Paul:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)

It is the fact that our focus is on Christ that enables us to “live for today.” Because we have been united to Christ by God’s grace, our life has meaning. We are more than globs of protoplasm fatalistically oozing our way through life (what verb would you use to go with glob?). We are beings created in the “image of God” for which He has an eternal purpose: “to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” Our hope can not to be found in man (remember, John Lennon was murdered by a mentally unstable man), it can only be found in the fact that through faith in Christ our lives are “hidden with Christ in God.” It is because of that wonderful truth that we desire to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Or, as Lennon might put it: “Living for today.”

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