My nomination is: John Lennon’s “Imagine”
“But it argues for peace and harmony,” you might protest. I’ll give you my reasons. It is not because it is boring and maudlin, although that might be reason enough. It is not because it is played ad-nauseum, for some reason, at Advent and Christmas time.
My main reason is because it destroys hope in the very first verse:
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 might seem easy to sweep away heaven and hell but in the process Lennon brushes aside a transcendent God who comes to earth to deal with the causes of war, conflict, brokenness and death. To create harmony we need to deal with the cause of our disharmony – our brokenness. Lennon’s approach is akin to putting a bandaid over an infection without dealing with the underlying problem.
Advent and Christmas are reminders that we have God whose desire is to heal our brokenness – to go to the cause of our human illness. He sacrificed His son for our brokenness. This goes beyond “living for today” and leads to an eternity of perfection, peace and joy.
OK, it may not be the worst song ever but it is certainly shallow and not at all fitting for a time when we celebrate the incarnation of God.