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Why MercyMe’s ‘I Can Only Imagine’ Continues to Resonate Today

Screenshot from MercyMe’s YouTube

Why MercyMe’s ‘I Can Only Imagine’ Continues to Resonate Today

By Movieguide® Staff

Despite a troublesome 2020 for many, God’s people have continued to worship and sing joyful songs that are full of truth.  Over Easter 2021, many Christian artists offered virtual events to celebrate the greatest gift–the death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Christian band MercyMe took the stage for the first time in over a year and shared with Fox Nation’s Ainsley Earhardt why music offers hope to people during the pandemic.

Specifically, Earhardt mentioned the group’s hit “I Can Only Imagine,” and its positive effect on many listeners during the pandemic.

“Everybody hopes, especially when they lose a loved one, that there’s something better after all of this. … It’s asking the same question I think most people would ask. … I think that resonates with people, whether they admit it or not. I think we always hope there’s something better after this,” the band’s lead singer, Bart Millard, said, adding that the song is not “dogmatic or shoving something down people’s throat.”

“I Can Only Imagine” was originally released in 1999.

The song continued to gain popularity over the years, peaking at No. 71 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2003 and No. 5 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart while also hitting top 40adult top 40, and country radio charts.

Earhardt added that MercyMe is “sharing Easter messages of hope, and performing songs that will help lift your spirits.”

The concert also featured Ryan Stevenson, Colton Dixon, and Danny Gokey.

The story behind the song is also the premise for the movie I CAN ONLY IMAGINE.

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE won the Epiphany Prize® for Most Inspiring Movie of 2018 at the Movieguide® Awards.

The movie renewed the song’s popularity, and “I Can Only Imagine” returned to No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Songs chart and No. 10 on the Billboard Digital Songs chart in 2018.