Pastor Larson’s Corner: Never locked out

Pastor Larsons Corner

Our prayers are with Pastor Larson, whose wife recently passed away. While he takes a little time to mourn and reflect with his family, please enjoy this “vintage” offering from Pastor Larson’s Corner.

I have a friend who loves to fish the streams that run into Lake Superior on Minnesota’s North Shore. Last spring he arrived at his favorite river only to discover a new gate blocking the road to his usual campsite. He found the ranger and asked if the area was now off limits or could the gate be opened. His response was an interesting one. The ranger told him, “If you looked more closely you would have noticed that we did not lock the gate. We put it up to discourage all terrain vehicle use. The road remains open for fishing and river access.”

This story provides a great metaphor for us and our relationship with God. With God we are never locked out. The gates that stand between us and God’s eternal grace and life are always open. They may seem foreboding when we come upon them, but in truth they are never locked. We do not need a key or some special pass word to go through into the loving arms of our God.

There are times in life for all of us when God’s love seems inaccessible. In the midst of our pain or sorrow God seems unapproachable. We may think God doesn’t listen when we pray or that God doesn’t care about us. At times like this we should remember that God never locks us out. There may be road blocks along our path in life but none along our path to God. All the gates on our walk of faith are unlocked, including the very gate of heaven itself. The Gospel assures us of that. God’s promises are both certain and sure.

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 Sept. 26, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

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The Norwegian American

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