Closed: Churches, colleges, schools, business conferences, museums, amusement parks, sporting events, movie theaters, malls, non-essential stores, hotels and casinos (to name several). And if the virus continues, how will it affect the Olympics and our November elections?

The number of cases and deaths in the United States as of March 22, 2020, 1:55 PM: 27,000 cases resulting in over 300 deaths: (By the time you read this column, these numbers will probably be much greater. In considering the impact of the above, we might all learn from Martin Luther’s writing below from the year 1527 about the Bubonic plague.

The below came to me by three difference sources in the last few days. Between that and the sense the quote makes, I feel we can all apply Martin Luther’s wise quote to our lives.

Learning from Church History–Martin Luther on the Deadly Plague

Martin Luther, 16th-century reformer, theologian and pastor in response to the black/bubonic plague wrote a short 14 page pamphlet “Whether One May Flee a Deadly Plague.” One quote stands out, though the whole document is worth reading.

“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.”

For those who would like to read the whole 14 page pamphlet to see the quote in context, see the link below.

Will this pandemic bring us closer as a nation? There are already some signs of it and I hope once we have defeated the coronavirus, we can drawl even closer as a nation! Following are several signs which I have observed during the past weeks.

President Trump and his team have reported regularly on how the people of the United States and corporate America are working together on all aspects of the fight against the coronavirus. President Trump has frequently said how the conservatives and liberals in government have been working together. New York Governor Cuomo, who often has different opinions from President Trump, has repeatedly praised President Trump for his handling of the coronavirus.

On a local level, I have also seen unity. Barb and I live in a 55 and older community of 119 homes. Not all of the homeowners have cars. Today an email was sent out by our community president saying that a daughter of one of the residents has offered to go to the grocery store or pharmacy for the residents in our community at no cost and has provided a procedure to pay her for the items so there is no personal contact.

A couple of days ago, I was in the Market on Route 10 in Honey Brook. I was third in line at the register where a young lady had a large order. Most of the items were placed in a large box for her. The man next in line offered to carry the hefty box to her car.

Twice while I was driving on a country road (one lane each way), I slowed down and with no other traffic coming, I moved over to the oncoming lane so I would not get too close to a man walking his dog and a lady gardening near the edge of the road. In both cases I received a thank you wave.

I have volunteered for Meals on Wheels for 10 years along with so many others and these meals are still being delivered during this time to home-bound individuals, while following strict guidelines provided by Meals on Wheels of Chester County office to protect the health of the driver as well as our clients.

There are two or three things we all need to do during this crisis. Pray to Jesus Christ, our Savior, for the health of those we know and those we don’t know, whether they are in the next community or around the world, especially for the elderly who have been hit the hardest.

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, now is the perfect time to get to know Him and place your faith in Him. Read the Gospel of John, the fourth book in the New Testament. Finally, abide by all the recommendations and laws provided by our government, which is working extremely hard to help us get through this time.

Jeff Hall of Honey Brook contributes columns to Berks-Mont Newspapers.

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