COVID-19 and Service

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In light of the current coronavirus pandemic, I find the following words from Martin Luther (circa the 16th century) both comforting and convicting:

“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 no foolhardy and does not tempt God”

Martin Luther
Luther’s Works
Volume 43, Page 132
Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague
Written to Rev. Dr. John Hess