Martin Luther, (1483-1546) German theologian and religious reformer who initiated the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. Through his words and actions, Luther precipitated a movement that reformulated certain basic tenets of Christian belief.
I was surprised to read this: History provides guidance. When a deadly plague hit Wittenberg, Germany, in 1527, Martin Luther modeled pastoral care: “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.” But he added that if his neighbor needed him, he would go, taking precautions.
Luther experienced some of the same things we are. It sounds like they had social distancing. In those days viruses were even more dangerous without the health care we have. We don’t hear any discontent or fear in Luther’s words. There is a job to be done—reaching out to the lost and helping our brothers and sisters. Helping people may be done by material needs but also putting a little joy or a little cheer in their lives. We have so many more ways available to us than Luther did. The main things we need to maintain our joy and trust in God’s timing and direction.
Remember that Sunday school song: “The joy of the Lord is my strength!” We need that joy as we go through these days of concern. Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) 22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Where does that joy come from? Psalm 34:4-8 (ESV) 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
We have to make sure we don’t take Charlie’s thinking on loving people. He only loves those that love him. Listen to what Jesus tells us to do: Matthew 5:43-48 (ESV) 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
“SORRY CHARLIE” you need to read your bible a little more.
My goal through this pandemic is to keep you looking to Jesus with joy in your heart and confidence that He will bring you through. Now is the occasion to spend time in your Bible. Confidence and joy only comes from our Lord Jesus Christ. Take this special time to get to know Him better and more personal. As you trust Him with your eternal life, trust Him in your day to day life.
I have to admit—-I really miss your smiling faces and hope we can get back together soon.
Of course as always: Keep praying but also keep rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Hopefully we will be meeting together again in the near future.
God’s Blessing, Pastor Gerry and Carolyn