Negative Response to a Viral Celebrity Cover of John’s Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, Highlights Our Desire to Be Truly Understood

By: Sam Chan

Recently, Gal Gadot and her celebrity friends got together to sing a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” It was a well-intentioned gesture to do something nice. Something to help us get through the COVID-19 crisis.

And let’s face it, if Wonder Woman asked you to sing a few lines to a Beatles song, we would’ve all said YES!

But it had the opposite reaction. The whole of the internet turned on Gal Gadot and her friends. The short 3 minute video has been mercilessly slammed.

Watch Gal Gadot’s Imagine cover on Youtube

Musically, the singing is off-key and the rhythms are off.

But more importantly the video is tone-deaf to what’s really going on out there.

Here are a bunch of privileged celebs, safely locked away, with plenty of toilet paper, singing a song to people who have lost their jobs: “Imagine no possessions.”

If anything, the media pile-on has exposed the vacuousness of John Lennon’s song.

Joe Rogan summed it up: “This is not the time, when everyone’s granny is dying … to sing ‘Imagine there’s no heaven.’”

But I went the opposite direction. I love Gal Gadot and what her friends did.

I saw Wonder Woman without her super powers.

I saw a shared common humanity.

I saw celebs without make-up. Who looked just as awkward as I do. Who didn’t know how to frame a headshot. Who didn’t know how to sing.

I saw human beings who were just as scared as I am. Who wanted a shared narrative. Who desperately wanted to know that it’s going to be OK in the end.

But where they fell short was this. They couldn’t give us a shared narrative in a vacuous John Lennon song. They can’t guarantee that it’s going to be OK.

And no matter how much they try, they can’t ever be one of us.

They will never be in the frontline, with the homeless, the sick, the dying. That’s why their song ends up falling short. It’s a well-meaning gesture. But it’s also a meaningless gesture if they can’t be there with us in person.

This is where Jesus does get it right. Jesus is the Son of God—Capital C Celeb—who does becomes one of us—in our grime, infectious diseases, vomit, and blood.

He became one of us and experienced everything that we go through—grief, pain, loss, disease, and death.

Why? So he can become our common, shared narrative. So he can guarantee that it will be OK in the end.

How do we know this? Because he is here with us. That’s why he is called Immanuel—God with us.

With Jesus, we don’t have to imagine.

Hebrews 2:5-18

2 Corinthians 8:9

John 11:17-44

Article supplied with thanks to Espresso Theology.

About the Author: Sam is a theologian, preacher, author, evangelist, ethicist, cultural analyst and medical doctor.