We are currently experiencing an era that will mark the history of humanity without a doubt, because things are going very strong for some countries that are experiencing the harsh reality of a virus that is destroying lives and this makes the world continue in mourning in this 2020 .
There are already many countries in quarantine, countries that have taken drastic measures when it comes to air and sea transport, and we must pray for each other at times like these and help as necessary as followers of Jesus Christ that we are. It is a more than obvious moment to demonstrate brotherly love and to demonstrate that we are wise believers.
Today we have many Christians on social networks saying that as true children of God we should not protect ourselves from the new pandemic already mentioned, and honestly this thought is worrying, since it shows ignorance of things, little prudence, which leads to lack of love for ourselves and for our neighbors.
Martin Luther, the man of the Protestant Reformation, a true man of God, wrote wise advice in times of the Black Death. Before Luther was born, between 1347 and 1353, this was considered the largest pandemic in the history of mankind, and it is estimated that in Europe alone it eliminated a third of the population, approximately 25 million people.
But in Luther’s time, almost 200 years later, the town of the reformer (Wittenberg) saw the revival of the plague that almost ended Europe. And it is good that we as Christians know about this, since at that time, there were also many Christians who had different positions on Christians regarding an event like this. Some said that a Christian should not flee from epidemics and others said that we should be wise and abide by the health measures taken by governments. Today, 2020, the same is discussed.
Given the intensity of the moment, due to the responses of both groups, Luther, as the leader of the moment and man of God, had to answer the question by letter.
Luther said that those who had civic responsibilities should remain in the gap, caring for the sick, and that those who served in the ministry should face the danger of death if possible, since the sick need someone to comfort them before said disease. He also made it clear that doctors should provide support to the sick, which is a very beneficial work in times like these, and it is the correct thought of a true believer, that although we are spiritual we can understand that God has given knowledge to doctors.
Was Luther somehow exposing believers and readers to danger? Well, no, Luther said: “We all have the responsibility to protect ourselves from this poison as best we can, because God has commanded us to take care of our bodies”. Let us be clear that Luther defended the health measures given by the government, such like quarantine and seeking medical attention.
What are we doing today with brothers who do not abide by health measures, calling those who follow them lazy? What remains in cases like these is that the leaders of each church patiently and wisely exhort their congregations so that this thought do not be a reason for the multiplication of the plague.
To finish, I share some words of Martin Luther:
“I will ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I will spray, help purify the air, administer the medicine, and take it. I will avoid places and people where my presence is not necessary to avoid contaminating myself and, therefore, inflict and contaminate others and thus cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God wanted to take me, He will surely find me and I have done what He expected of me, so I am not responsible for my own death or the death of others. However, if my neighbor needs me, I will not avoid the place or the person, I will go freely as indicated above. See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it’s not shameless or reckless and it doesn’t tempt God. ”
Luther’s works; Vol. 43, p. 132
May the Lord Jesus Christ give us peace and healing in times like these. Amen.