“Martin Luther’s pastoral advice during the Black Plague: ‘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 neighbour 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).”*
I preface all of the following by saying we must carefully hear to listen to Jesus’ Holy Spirit as to what is correct for each of us to do in our respective lives in Him. There is no formula. The Only Solution Is The Gospel.
The following is a combination of a stream of consciousness, discussion and questions with regard to current affairs. It may be in part cumbersome if read fast. Rather take time to ponder the thoughts and questions. It is no easy matter, yet we must simply follow The Word.
Do we do act foolishly or in faith?
This earthly battle points to Life versus death; Light versus darkness; and Faith versus fear. The Heavenly War was Won at Calvary. It is Written in Isaiah 53:5 that by His wounds we are healed. It is Written in Matthew 8:7 He heals. Have Faith in The Way, Truth, and Life of our LORD Christ Jesus (John 14:6).
He has granted us His Heavenly Wisdom and Knowledge within The Written Word, especially highlighted in 2 Chronicles 1 and James 1. The LORD also gives us earthly practical wisdom and knowledge. We must use our brains led by Jesus’ Holy Spirit to do His Will for His Heavenly Kingdom to be loosed on earth.
Per Isaiah 54:17 no weapon (the virus or otherwise) forged against us will prevail. We know per Psalm 91 and other Word that our LORD Christ Jesus protects us, keeps us safe from harm and takes care of us. We do have faith and still must also be careful with earthly practical wisdom and knowledge.
Are we selfless or selfish to meet with people during these compromised times? Are we serving others or self-serving in meeting with them? Are we willing to take the risk of their health and well-being with the prospects of unknowingly carrying a communicable disease? GOD answers this for us.
People are either asymptomatic or symptomatic carriers of a virus. Asymptomatic people unknowingly carry a transmittable cause of illness and in some cases death. Globally six to seven people of 100 (6% – 7%)** who contract this virus die. Are we willing to increase the chances of illness or death?
How do we then serve and take care of others’ needs whilst maintaining their and our health and well-being?
This and much more have become a battlefield of the mind and body to question and consider what is selfless and/or selfish in our respective current housebound isolation to stay home or visit people in spite of imposed laws of the lands.
It is uncomfortable to remain in place by the house with social and economic uncertainty of what may come. We know The LORD has good plans to prosper us per Jeremiah 29:11. We are human in questioning circumstances and GOD, as did David in Psalms 42.
Personnel in the medical frontline wearing protective gear still fall victim to this viral, pandemic, and epidemic plague. Dishearteningly many have succumbed to death. Who are we as ordinary citizens to walk about with simple face masks and assume we are non-carriers and/or immune?
Where is the balance between concern for Life versus death by way of transmitting a disease and our human desires of interacting with people and caretaking for them at the same time? Elderly and children need tender loving care, as do countless others. Many people are in need of basics.
Who in our immediate families do we meet to greet now and again to ensure their well-beings and give them the basic staples and care? Who in our friends circles the same? Who amongst the extended community?
Do we submit to the governing laws to maintain physical distances from other human beings using face masks? Do we take a chance of infecting ourselves and/or others by physical interaction in spite of being told it is best not to do so?
Physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, economically and spiritually we are in one of the most uncomfortable and trying conundrums of modern-day times. People close to or over the age of 100 have survived many world problems.
The elderly may have survived the Spanish Flu, polio outbreaks, wars and other havoc, yet few of recent generations have undergone such trials, tribulations and chaos as we are experiencing now. We can read of this in history to know we will breakthrough to the other side. We are passing through all of the above.
Worldwide we are conflicted. We yearn to socialize in-person with family and friends. We want to interact and help in-person with others beyond our immediate house and home. We stay humbled to maintain physical distances from others in spite of the loneliness and hunger to socialize in-person.
When will we comfortably shake hands and/or hug a person beyond our immediate house again?
We have deliberately refrained from visiting anyone in concern for their health and well-being. The virus may not directly impact us, but we do not want to unknowingly transmit germs to any other person to put their lives at risk or vice versa. Each in-person interaction may be a reset of time of 14 days until knowing.
We would like to believe that by isolating ourselves we are selflessly serving others by not potentially spreading a lethal disease. Is it selflessly serving this way? We would like to believe it may be.
Is it selfish to visit people with the risky prospects of contamination in either direction? Are people selfish in their wanting to and actions of in-person meetings? Is there a selfish nature serving a basic human need? Does this outweigh the risk of disease?
We do not know what to do. On one side we want to maintain physical distances to keep others, friends and our family members at large safe. Even going to the stores to buy groceries exposes us to germs. Yet, we must live basic lives with interaction with others. Who will be The Gospel to them?
We can, should and do help the elderly and others by shopping on their behalf, which is selflessly serving and good. Should we take the chance of spreading germs and progress to visit with friends and family members in their respective houses to selflessly give of our love and ever escaping premium time?
Let us be selfless and serving in giving of ourselves firstly within our respective houses to the best of our abilities. Let us be selfless and serving in being careful of our in-person interactions with others whether at a grocery store or having to take something to a relative’s house.
Selfishly we want to frequently meet and greet all of our friends and family members in-person at our or their homes. Let us be cautious in our desires unless agreed by all parties to visit in one another’s living rooms for the off chance of transmitting a prospectively lethal virus.
This too shall pass. The world will never be the same. There is nothing normal about this and the world will be shifted to a new way of existence. We will adjust.
Let us call on The Written Word by Way of Jesus’ Holy Spirit to guide and direct us in the best Way for each of us to be selflessly serving and giving to each other even when it means the sacrifice of missing each other in-person for a time, reason and season. The LORD blesses those who love, submit to and obey Him.
The LORD placed our governing leaders in their positions of authority (Romans 13:1). It is our responsibility to submit to the governing authorities of the day as unto The LORD. When we do so, Father GOD will bless us. Per Deuteronomy 28:1-14 obedience commands His blessings.
As for us and our house, we serve The LORD (Joshua 24:15). As selfishly as we would want to frequently visit with our friends and family, we have decided for now to selflessly do our best to maintain as much physical distance from others as needed until this plague has passed with few exceptions.
We will say that with Jesus’ Holy Spirit leading us we will selflessly serve and give to others in-person as and when the opportunity arises. May The LORD GOD Almighty bless, keep, guide and direct all of us in The Way He wants to lead us. We willingly and selflessly follow to serve our LORD Christ Jesus.
Per Ecclesiastes everything is meaningless except for The Love of The LORD.
Blessings in The Most High
* “For a Time Such as This” By Noel Bergman (2020): https://ourdailybread.org/for-such-a-time-as-this/.
** Statistics: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/.