I’m praying that everyone is healthy and calm as the COVID-19 virus moves closer to home. Please continue praying for each other and our communities as we face this crisis together.
I was blessed this morning by an offer a member made to the people at Blainsport. An offer is standing for grocery store runs, especially for those most vulnerable to the virus. If anyone in the congregation does not feel comfortable going out to the grocery store or pharmacy during this time, others want to help. Let’s call on each other during our time of need. Please call me at the church or on my cell phone if you need assistance in this way. Also, if you are willing to make runs for others in the congregation, let me know that too.
How far should we go to help others during these uncertain times? The response of reformer Martin Luther challenged me in my thinking. In 1527, the bubonic plague struck Wittenberg, Germany, and virtually all of Luther’s students fled for their lives. Known as the “Black Death,” the plague emerged from China in the mid-1300s. It appeared again in the 15th century as well. When this disease was in epidemic levels, the mortality rate ranged from 30 percent to 90 percent.
Luther called Christians to consider what Jesus meant when he said, “For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me” (Matthew 25:35–36, NLT). Luther served his congregation and the community well during the plague. He opened his home to those in need and trusted God to provide for him as he served.
At the same time, Luther warned Christians not to test God by acting over-confidently, rushing into dangerous settings carelessly. We should take precautions without giving into fear. As Christians, it is all right to be concerned, particularly if our loved ones or we are in an at-risk category. But God wants us to lean into him as we reach out to others—especially others in need.
While we can reach out to others, we must also take wise steps in order not to test God needlessly. Here is a list of activities that we think are wise to cancel at this time. We will reschedule events AFTER the authorities lift the COVID-19 restrictions. The list might grow as time goes on, but for now, here is what we have.
We want to weather this storm together as a family, so please don’t hesitate to call me. And if you have health concerns during this time, please let me know so we can be praying for you. Life will look different for us when all this passes—and hopefully, we become more like Christ in our character, actions, and love.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Eric grew up in the little town of Gibraltar, PA with his grandparents. He met his wife Cheryl while working at Good’s Greenhouse in Bowmansville, PA. He has three adult children and values watching them grow into the people God wants them to be.