This I Know

Two Sundays ago, Pastor Cris picked out one the greatest songs in our hymnal – the familiar ‘Jesus Loves Me.’ As we were singing those wonderful words, I recalled a story I heard once about the great Swiss Theologian Karl Barth. Barth was a prolific writer whose works could fill a library. He is revered by scholars over 50 years after his death. 

The story goes that when Barth was an old man, one night he had a dream. In his dream, he had died and was welcomed into heaven by Jesus. Jesus is leading Barth down the streets of gold which are lined by countless people cheering and welcoming him. But soon the cheers begin to turn to laughter. Not mocking laughter. But the kind of laughter one has when you watch the innocence of children or kittens. 

Barth doesn’t understand. He is confused. Slowly, it begins to make sense. As Barth has been walking, he has been dragging a cart with all of his works stacked on board – Every article, every tome, every treatise about God, about humanity, everything he had ever written, his treasured life’s work. 

Barth awakes from his dream realizing that the meaning of life is much simpler than his great learning. All of his intelligence, all of his writings all boil down to one simple statement, ‘Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so!’ 

The story continues that the great, learned man never wrote anything else. He spent the rest of his days telling anyone who would listen, ‘Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so!’

Sometimes, we can lose sight of the fact that ultimately that is the only thing that matters. In a world filled with challenges of every sort, or those who claim they have the secret to a happy life, the most important thing we can remember is that words of a simple song, ‘Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so!’

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