Pastor Larson’s Corner: Celebrity

Pastor Larsons Corner

After more than 30 years of hosting his own late night television show, David Letterman retired. As part of the coverage of this event, Public Television aired a couple of interviews Charlie Rose had with Letterman. One was recorded now at the close of his career and one was from much earlier. In the earlier interview Rose asked him what changed in his life once his show gained widespread popularity. Letterman’s answer was a very interesting one. He said that the first thing he noticed once he became a genuine celebrity was how nice people were to him. I never considered the fact that celebrities are treated nicely by everyone they meet. I have always heard so much about the abuse they take at the hands of the paparazzi and crazed fans that I was surprised by Letterman’s comment about being treated nicely.

It made me think how nice it would be in this world if everyone treated everyone else like a celebrity. We have a good example of just that way of being with people in the stories of Jesus. Jesus treated everyone the same no matter what their status or position was in the culture. He treated the Samaritan woman at the well as nicely as the Roman Centurion. He ate and talked with both sinners and tax collectors, much to the chagrin of the local religious authorities and His own disciples.

Perhaps if we thought of everyone we met as a celebrity, it would help us treat that person with dignity and respect. In the eyes of God everyone has celebrity status so why not treat them as such. Few people we know or meet will ever have the celebrity status of a David Letterman. At the same time, everyone has celebrity status in someone’s eyes. Treating them with the same respect we would show for a great celebrity would certainly be following in the way of Christ.

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 June 5, 2015, 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.