If this New Year’s Celebration at Times Square follows the pattern set since 2005, just before the ball drops and we turn or calendars forward, someone will sing John Lennon’s classic song, Imagine. It is a good thing to close out the past and look to the future by imagining the world as it could be.
John Lennon sat down at his piano in Berkshire, England one morning in early 1971 and composed the song that became his most popular single. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation named it the greatest song of the last 100 years. Australians chose “Imagine” as the greatest song of all time. But for many of us, there is a greater vision of how the world could be.
Every time we quote the Lord’s Prayer we are invited to imagine the world as it is meant to be. Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven …” What would the world look like if that prayer were answered? How would the world differ from the world we know?
If God’s will were done on earth, there would be no more crime. Theft, violence and murder would end. Prisons would empty. Neighbor would no longer sue neighbor. Court dockets would clear.
Employers would forego extravagant profits in order to pay higher wages to their workers. No child would go to bed hungry or unsheltered. Those who possess the food and resources of the world would share with those who have none.
Corruption, graft and greed would disappear. Wars would cease. Politicians would serve the best interest of others with honesty and integrity. Fairness, kindness, forgiveness and generosity would prevail.
Husbands would love their wives seeking what is best for them and striving to please them. Wives would love and respect their husbands, building them up and encouraging them. Children would honor their parents and obey them, trusting them in the knowledge that they want what is best for them.
Racial, cultural and sexual prejudices would vanish. Discrimination would disappear. Every human being would treat every other human being with respect. The strong would help the weak.
None of us are in the position to effect such a whole scale change for the world in which we live. But we are each able to change our little corner of the world. We can put into practice the answer to the prayer Jesus taught us to pray. His Kingdom can come and His will can be done in us and through us.