Pastor Larson’s Corner: Take a second look

Pastor Larsons Corner

For many years my brother and I owned a large cruising sailboat. During the winter months we stored it in the back lot of a good friend’s tire business. The area was fenced in, and if the business was closed, we would have to use a ladder to get over the eight-foot chain link fence to get to our boat. One weekend we came to work on the boat, and there was a semi-trailer blocking the spot where we usually climbed over the fence. This caused us to take a second look. We discovered that the fence ran into a wooded area and then ended about 30 feet from where our boat was stored. We could just walk a little way into the woods and go right around the fence.

We were shocked that we had not noticed this before. We also had a good laugh when we thought about how silly it was to risk our necks climbing over an eight-foot fence that ended just 30 feet from where our boat was. We had it in our minds that the fence went all around the area. It was not until we were forced to take a different look at the situation that we saw the truth.

The season of Lent is a season when Christians try to take a new and different look at both themselves and the faith that they profess. As we meditate upon the events of Jesus’s passion, we open ourselves up to new and deeper understandings of scripture and of our life of faith. When we do this, we often discover things about the Gospel that give us new life. We may even discover things that we had missed all of our lives because we never took a second look.

Let’s all take the time this Lenten season to look a little deeper—or perhaps just a little farther down the fences of our lives. The life of faith changes and grows as we change and grow. This happens only if we are willing to open our hearts and minds and take a new and different look at things. Lent presents us with a wonderful opportunity to do just that.

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 March 4, 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.