Coronavirus: If you are a Christian, you owe it to yourself to read this.
Coronavirus and the Christian
In lieu of the Coronavirus going around, I stumbled upon this amazing letter written by none other than Martin Luther. The Martin Luther who nailed his 95 Thesis to the wall of the church. In his somewhat long letter, Luther proposes how to respond to a deadly plague. This letter was really insightful to me. Therefore, I highly encourage anyone who is a Christian or church attender to read the letter in its entirety. It is filled with wisdom, guidance, and direction. Whether the government or the media is to blame, there is great panic around the Coronavirus. It has caused many people to act foolishly, and even selfishly. Below, I have taken what I think are some of the highlights from Luther’s letter.
Prayer is an effective weapon against every evil – including Coronavirus.
Luther urges us to pray against every evil. Since we cannot remove ourselves from the will of God – pray. More importantly, Christ-followers are not to fear. He recognizes that there will be different callings for each people. Some should stay and help. However, others should go with the peace of God and flee the disease. Therefore, God’s will be done.
“We must pray against every form of evil and guard against it to the best of our ability in order not to act contrary to God, as was previously explained. If it be God’s will that evil come upon us and destroy us, none of our precautions will help us. Everybody must take this to heart: first of all, if he feels bound to remain where death rages in order to serve his neighbor, let him commend himself to God and say, “Lord, I am in thy hands; thou hast kept me here; thy will be done. I am thy lowly creature. Thou canst kill me or preserve me in this pestilence in the same way as if I were in fire, water, drought, or any other danger.”
If a man is free, however, and can escape, let him commend himself and say, “Lord God, I am weak and fearful. Therefore I am running away from evil and am doing what I can to protect myself against it. I am nevertheless in thy hands in this danger as in any other which might overtake me. Thy will be done. My flight alone will not succeed of itself because calamity and harm are everywhere. Moreover, the devil never sleeps. He is a murderer from the beginning [John 8:44] and tries everywhere to instigate murder and misfortune.”
Christians, you are being tested by Coronavirus!
Luther says that plagues and diseases are a test of our faith. They are a test of our love. How are you treating other people? Is it with love, or is selfishness prevailing? The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor.
“but also to test our faith and love—our faith in that we may see and experience how we should act toward God; our love in that we may recognize how we should act toward our neighbor.”
Do not be racist!
We need to remember that it is not a particular race of people’s fault for the spread of a disease. There have been reports of Asian students being bullied and beaten up because of the Coronavirus fear. This is horribly inappropriate and there is no room for it in the Christian life. These feelings are from the devil!
“When anyone is overcome by horror and repugnance in the presence of a sick person, he should take courage and strength in the firm assurance that it is the devil who stirs up such abhorrence, fear, and loathing in his heart.”
Selfishness is the root of all sin.
If you are hoping to buy up necessary items and sell them for profit, you are a sinner. If you are hoping to profit from this pandemic, you are in the wrong. This is harder to avoid than you might think. Money makes people do crazy things. Selfishness is easy to give in to. I must admit, I have been tempted to think about stockpiling and reselling essentials for profit. I realize now it is wrong and this is not helping my neighbor. If you are doing this, I encourage you to stop. You are adding fuel to the fire. Heck, Luther says these are the exact kind of people setting themselves up to be cursed. You have been warned. (See: Selfishness is the only sin that matters)
“A person who attends a patient because of greed, or with the expectation of an inheritance or some personal advantage in such services, should not be surprised if eventually he is infected, disfigured, or even dies before he comes into possession of that estate or inheritance.”