April 10, 2020
Andy Stanley, Lead Pastor of North Point Ministries, posed this question.
“How do I protect myself and my family without abdicating my responsibility to love my neighbor?”
His response: “We certainly aren’t the first generation of Christians to wrestle with that question. In the 14th century, the bubonic plague began its march across Europe. Over 50 percent of Europe’s population would eventually succumb to what is considered by many to be the most devastating pandemic in human history.”
During an outbreak in his hometown of Wittenberg, Germany, Martin Luther documented his approach to navigating those harrowing days. In a letter to a friend, he wrote:
Therefore 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 infect 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 was practicing social distancing before social distancing was a thing.
But that’s not all he did.
- He prayed for mercy while acting benevolently.
- He was available but not careless.
- He trusted God and loved his neighbor.
As we navigate this season together, let’s keep these three ideas front and center. Thank you to our clients who are trusting us in this time! We are grateful to serve you. Thank you to all the healthcare workers who are on the front lines. We appreciate you. If you need anything, or if we can help you in any way, please reach out to us.