Pastoral Letters

Christian Responsibility: COVID-19

Hello Beloved Trinity Community,

The COVID 19 pandemic has and will continue to impact the local to global communities, including Trinity and our individual lives.

Although this pandemic is unprecedented within our lifetime, it is not within recorded history. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), scientist, and medical professionals are building upon the historical past and scientific developments to “stop the spread” and “flatten the curve”. These professionals are pleading for all persons to limit their risk of exposure and their risk of unknowingly exposing our neighbors.

We have heard their pleas: wash hands, sanitize commonly touched surfaces, and wear a mask in public. Our national recommendation is to social distance and isolate. Our states have “Stay at Home” orders.

Although people are frustrated and lamenting these restrictions, these are effective and were similarly utilized during the Black Plague, Spanish Flu, and more recently Polio.

Additionally, these restrictions may overwhelm people who desire to contribute towards the cause, question the appropriate Christian response, and discern their available options.

Similar to healthcare professionals, spiritual professionals build upon the guidance of those who came before and scripture to discern the faithful response. Thankfully, Martin Luther provided such guidance.

Unfortunately, August 1527 the Black Plague arrived in Wittenberg. The community questioned their Christian responsibility and available options, thus Luther responded with “Whether One May Flee a Deadly Plague”. Although it aligns with WHO and CDC recommendations, it embraces a deep sense of Christian responsibility firmly rooted in our baptismal vocation and commitments.

Pray that God will provide merciful protection.

We are called to protect, care for, love, and serve our neighbors, especially the vulnerable.

We are called to avoid unnecessary risk of exposure without neglecting the needs of neighbors.

We are called to sanitize our homes.

We are called to practice social distancing/isolation without neglecting the needs of neighbors.

Luther wrote that although each Christian (by baptismal vocation) should remain and contribute, those who do not provide essential care may flee without condemnation. These essential workers were the medical professionals, spiritual leaders, civil authorities, and basic care providers.

Luther was not a man of word alone, because he opened his home to those infected with the Black Plague. Luther and his pregnant wife, Katie, personally tended to said persons at great risk to self.

Therefore, may we heed the pleas of the WHO, CDC, scientist, and medical professionals.

Therefore, may we heed the example of the Luther family and respond in loving service of neighbors as able. Perhaps, donating time or items to food pantries, sewing masks, running errands for the vulnerable, and/or praying for persons infected with COVID-19 and those who are fighting it on the frontlines.

With Love,
Pastor Melinda.

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