Response to COVID-19

Martin Luther’s pastoral advice during the Black Plague (1527 AD):

“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”

—Martin Luther, Works v. 43, p. 132. Letter “Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague” written to Rev. Dr. John Hess.

We all have different ways of responding to the COVID 19 scare.  Some blame others because they are perpetuating, fear, hysteria and “fake news.”  Others are then blamed for being reckless and foolish by not taking the pandemic seriously enough.  What if, instead of reacting to the circumstances around us, we reacted to God’s word?  What if, instead of letting our personal desires (flesh) take over, we submitted ourselves to God’s Holy Spirit once again in order that we might see his good fruit produced in each of us?

Let this be a time when, even as we are ordered to keep distance physically, we might not let the enemy put distance between us spiritually.  Let this be a time of love—not just for love’s sake, but because of the love that God shown us through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  Let this be a time when we join together in praying for one another, checking in on one another, provide help for those who are experiencing financial distress, and taking in God’s word about how Jesus loved.  Let this be our finest hour.

In Him,

Pastor Tim.