Summary: What would you keep in your life if you could have your life all over again

18-04-04 Stody

I was over in Switzerland this week and I got an

E-mail from Robert suggesting that I might like to address the subject of

"Jesus is Alive" and its challenge/implications for each one of us.”

Story: The fact that the famous Swiss theologian Karl Barth had taken a lifetime - and over a thousand pages in two theological tomes of “Church Dogmatics” made me wonder how I was going to cover this in ten minutes!!!

However I was greatly encouraged when I remembered the story of Barth, when he was visiting the United States and a theological student asked him,

“Dr. Barth, what is the single most important truth you have learned as a theologian?”

And Barth replied, “The most important thing that I have learned is this:

“Jesus loves me this I know,

for the Bible tells me so’.”

Story: The day before yesterday, a good friend of mine, Johannes Czwalina gave me a book he had written called

“ Wenn ich nochmals anfangen könnte..”

which roughly translated means

“If I could start again…”

It is a series of excerpts of letters from famous - and not so famous - people - mainly from Switzerland and Germany - expressing what they would do differently if they could live their lives over again.

Here is one letter that I really liked:

“If I could live my life over again,

I would make more mistakes

I would relax more

I would do more wild things in my life

I would take more risks

I know there are only a few things

That I should really take seriously

I would travel more, Climb Mountains,

swim through rivers and gaze into more sunsets.

I would eat more ice cream and less salad

I would have more real problems and

less imagined ones

You see, I am one of these people who has carefully planned his life out,

hour by hour and day by day

Yes there have been some wonderful moments

But Oh! how I wish there had been more

Those are the sorts of moment that I’d really like to keep - happy moments one after the other

If I could live my life all over again

I would run around barefoot

at the first break of spring and

keep going until late autumn

I would skive more things

ride more dodgem cars

I would lie in the sun more often”

And as I read Johannes’ book I started to ask the question:

If I could have my life all over again – what would I actually want to do again?

What would I actually want to keep in my life?

1. I’d want to be a Patent Attorney all over again.

2. I’d want to marry Maddy,

3. I’d want to be a clergyman and

4. I’d even might want to train as a Curate.

But above everything else, I would want to get to know Jesus Christ - as I did in January 1972.

Story: I came to know Jesus at Wycliffe Hall on the first Thursday of 1972.

I was in my room and I said: Jesus, if you exist like my friends say you exist, I want to know you.

And as I said that - I felt the presence of Jesus in my room, there and then.

I’d like to ask you the question: If you could live your life all over again, what would you want to keep?

You see if Jesus is alive, we can get to know him.

In our Bible reading this morning, we read:

It was very early in the morning on the first day of the week. The women took the spices they had prepared. And they went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from it. When they entered the tomb they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus (Lk 24:1-3 NIRV)

Have you ever wondered why the stone was rolled away: It wasn’t to let Jesus OUT – because we know with his resurrected body that he could pass through closed doors (see Lk 24:36)

I believe it was to allow the disciples INTO the tomb – why. So that they could KNOW that Jesus was no longer dead – but ALIVE.

The Tomb was and still is EMPTY!!


I would like to suggest to you this morning that Christianity is not just a set of good moral ethics, though it embraces them.

Christianity is not simply how we “worship God” though that is an important component of it.

Christianity is not an intellectual assent to a set of propositions about “God”, though that is a certainly a part of our Faith.

The great message of Christianity is that we can know Christ today. He is alive!

Many Christians today can vouch for the fact that they know a living Saviour.

The important question I would like to leave you with is: Do you know the risen Christ today?

Because in the final analysis – that is all that will count.

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