Pastor Larson’s Corner: A view from space

Pastor Larsons Corner

When Al Gore was vice president, he initiated a project to have NASA launch a satellite that would broadcast a live video of the earth 24 hours a day. He knew that every astronaut returning from space had a dramatically different view of earth once they saw it from space. He believed that if others could have a similar experience, they would be motivated to become better stewards of our beautiful blue planet.

The satellite was nearly ready for launch when Gore lost the presidential election. The incoming administration soon abandoned the project and the satellite was put into long-term storage. Recently, however, it was brought out of storage and with the addition of several other important measuring devices on board will soon be launched into space.

Hopefully those who tune into “earth cam” in future years will have a similar reaction as the many astronauts who have seen the earth from space. They will see how beautiful a planet we live on and think of the earth as a spaceship that needs our stewardship and care. Seeing the earth from space might also kindle in people a renewed sense of oneness with all who inhabit this planet. This, in turn, may have the power to inspire greater cooperation among nations when it comes to environmental issues.

This may seem like a lot to ask of a camera launched into space. However, viewing the earth from outside has had a transforming effect upon everyone who has seen it. So just maybe this will have a similar effect upon children and adults alike. The book of Genesis in the Bible talks about this beautiful planet as a gift given to human kind who are called to “dress, till, and keep it.” Perhaps a view from space can help us take this call much more seriously.

Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.

Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at

This article originally appeared in the April 29, 2016, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.