Pastor Larson’s Corner: The gift of freedom

Pastor Larsons Corner

Pastor Larson recently had a knee replacement surgery. This is the final of four devotions featuring his thoughts and reflections on this experience.

When you decide to have a major surgery, you know that for a time you will be giving up your freedom. Others will be monitoring and controlling your every activity.

As I progressed in my rehabilitation following my surgery I was given an ever increasing amount of freedom of movement. The rehab center I chose had a particularly interesting system for monitoring this. When I first arrived in my room, the walker I was issued had a red ribbon tied to it. When I asked what it was for, they said that a red ribbon means you have to use your walker at all times and walk only with the help of an aid. During the week as I progressed the color of my ribbon changed and I was granted more and more freedom of movement.

Being a minister, I couldn’t help but relate this experience to the life of faith. The Apostle Paul once said, “For freedom Christ has set us free, do not again return to a yoke of slavery.” Paul wanted Jesus’s followers to understand that they had been set free from the powers of sin and death in one amazing act of love and kindness. For centuries, this message of once-and-for-all love and grace has been challenged by those who would prefer a system based on merit and hard work. They would like nothing better than a system where each level of spirituality achieved would be rewarded with a different color ribbon.

Fortunately for us, our eternal future does not depend upon our achievements but rather upon what Jesus Christ achieved for us. Truly we have been set free to live forgiven and loved so completely that we will never have to return to being slaves to either sin or death.

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 Nov. 13, 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.