Life is long. Happiness short. Blessed is the one who dares to give it up.

SERMON: Life is long. Happiness is short.

Blessed is the one who dares to give it up.

These lines are from a famous and beloved Danish song by the newly deceased singer Kim Larsen. Today it could be the title of the Sermon as it reflects on the beautiful teachings of the Gospel to serve and to give life up for others. Today’s Gospel is about the Sons of Zebedee who long for power, position and prestige. The longed to be seated at the best seats at the table, they longed for glory and honor, power and prestige.

Jesus says it very clearly: whoever wishes to be great must be a servant, whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. Greatness is found in service. Glory is found in humility.

Life is long. Happiness is short.

Blessed is the one who dares to give it up.

Kim Larsen sang his beautiful ode to life and he shared the short glimpses of happiness, that from time to time enters our long lifespan. Kim Larsen expressed a deep human experience and condition, that happiness is fragile and volatile. We can bi struck by destruction and death without warning. Life is not static, but it is constant movement. Life is long and may seem even longer when burdens are heavy to endure. Happiness on the other hand is volatile and so difficult to keep and control. Why is happiness so fragile and why is joy so short, we sigh. Why is happiness short and life long? Why isn’t happiness long and life short?

Kim Larsen’s beautiful song is called “Papercutting’s/Papirklip” and it tells where to find comfort and strength through this long life of ours. In our paper cuttings, memories, motifs and images so fine and familiar; in these fine happiness moments that truly can comfort us when our world seems cold, cruel and lonely.

Paper Cuttings

When my world is cold and deserted

I find comfort in my dearest treasure

I cut motifs with dreams and a scissor

The finest kind of paper silhouettes


Here's one of my father and mother

Those who gave me to this world

Loving kisses and a scent of jasmine

Always sunshine and sweetest thing


Here's one of my best friend

Countless clips are repeat several times

An unfinished or incomplete motif

Black silhouette of true love


Life is long. Happiness is short

Blessed is the one who dares to give it up


Life is long, and happiness is short. But the blessing, the meaning, the joy and the glory is only found in the short violative moments, when we dare to give our life up, when we dare loose our footing for a while, when we dare believe and hope for more, when we look back at some of our private paper cuttings from the land of childhood and manhood, - just to realize that greatness is found in these wonderful deep moments of service, of love and of faith.

Life is God’s gift to us. We are free to live as good as possible. This long life of ours, would become more lovely, happy, content and passionate if we dared to let go all of our plans and concerns.

These short happy moments are like vertical flashlights striking into four long horizontal life. We long for them, but they are unplanned, surprising and sudden.

Life is long. Happiness is short.

Blessed is the one who dares to give it up.


How do we give life up? By serving others and not just serve our own needs or desires. By serving our neighbors, by sharing life with others, and by being present in the violative moment.

The conditions of life we all share: life and death, sorrow and laughter, prosperity and adversity. The happy moments are in between.

Among all the many bids to explain happiness and meaning, the Gospel clearly proclaims the simple truth: life is to love. Life is to serve.

To love and serve one another is to give yourself. To serve the smaller and weaker. To be like Christ. Christ did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life. Christ did come to the world and he was present in the moment and in life. As he sacrificed himself and gave his life he is now present in eternity. The Gospel contradicts the worlds teaching of power, greatness, positions and tittle. The Gospel talks about service, humility, passion, presence, forgiveness and faith.

How do you show your greatness by serving, when the world teaches us that greatness is power? How do we serve one another, when the world is more concerned about making money of each other?


This Summer my sons and I were in London. Even if I do suffer of vertigo and fear of heights, we did enter the London Eye. The big wheel on the banks of the Themes. Once up there, we noticed a young couple. A young couple in love so in seemed, but soon we realized that the young man was more in love with himself and his staging than his beautiful girlfriend. From the moment he entered the swaying Gondola, he was more occupied taking selfies with his Phone on the stick. He was posing and posing. Smiling at the camera staging himself in front of the majestic views. He was so occupied that he did not even turn and enjoy the view and share the vies with his girlfriend. He forgot to enjoy the view, his girlfriend or the moment. Even when we walked off, the continue to document his moves and experiences, with a big smile! It seems far more important to him to document his moments than to be in the moment. It was far more important to stage himself that to be concerned about the wellbeing of his girlfriend. Or to enjoy the views. We remember to take photos of moments we forget to enjoy.

Frantically we try to freeze the moment and the experience, and forget to enjoy it, experience it and be in it.

Jesus was not concerned about staging himself or being the center of the universe. Jesus was not concerned about where he was seated at the table. Jesus was not concerned about titles, positions, prestige, power or strength. He was concerned about humans.


Life is long. Happiness is short.

Blessed is the one who dares to give it up.