Martin Luther during after the Bubonic Plague (1527)

Martin Luther during after the Bubonic Plague (1527)

Thank you Elder Aaron for sharing this:

Martin Luther, the archetypical Reformer, was a 16th century German author, theologian, and pastor. He is known for his stance against the Catholic church, but he had a pastoral heart and cared deeply for his people and longed for them to know the truth of the glorious gospel.

After the Bubonic Plague of 1527, Martin Luther wrote a pamphlet entitled, Whether One May Flee From a Deadly Plague:

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” . . .

Use medicine; take potions which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor does not need your presence or has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire which instead of consuming wood and
straw devours life and body?

You ought to think this way: Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison and deadly offal. 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.

We’re living in extraordinary times. We don’t know when the quarantines will be lifted. But let us use these times to show others the remarkable love of Christ. Let us be found living quietly and faithfully in our homes and ready at any moment to be called Home.