March 26, 2020

Chris is a real history buff. He sent the following message that helped me realize even though social distancing is new to us, this sort of thing has happened before. Almost 500 years ago, Martin Luther wrote these words. They are very applicable to our time:

“Back in 1527, a deadly plague hit Martin Luther’s town of Wittenberg and he wrote a letter to a friend (Volume 43, Pg. 132: Whether One Should Flee From A Deadly Plague – To Rev. Dr. John Hess), explaining how churches should deal with such complicated circumstances.”

“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.”

“Luther found a perfect balance between
a. Not being stupid (trying to get sick)
b. Going about normal life (not being paranoid, helping his neighbor)
c. Trusting God “

Luther’s experience reminded me of the wise words of Solomon: “Whatever has happened—that’s what will happen again; whatever has occurred—that’s what will occur again. There’s nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 CEB)

While this is new to us, humanity has been down this road before. God was with those people 500 years ago fighting the plague, and God is with us today. That’s what really matters.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, give me strength to trust, patience to endure, and a servant’s heart. Use me to help others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Yesterday, I spent an hour sitting in the pasture with the cows. They rested, ate tall green grass, and acted like the world would keep turning. They are right.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins