Martin Luther's Letter On Whether One May Flee From The Coronavirus of 2020

by Martin Luther

It was not coronavirus. It was bubonic plague (or black death), a much more deadly disease. It was 1527, and a case of the black death was found in the university of Wittenberg. The university was closed, and the students sent home, but Luther remained in the city and was busy with the pastoral and practical care of the sick. He was urged by correspondents from various places to give advice on what a Christian’s responsibility is at such a time.


In response, he wrote a letter called “Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague.” In it, he emphasized the duty to care for the neighbor, the responsibility of government to protect and provide services to its citizens, a caution about recklessness, and the importance of science, medicine, and common sense. The letter is addressed to Johann Hess, a pastor in Breslau, and it was published as an open letter to all Christians. Luther begins by looking at how Christians were responding to the plague. Some had a strong faith in the face of death, others not.


I invite you to read Luther’s letter as it is addressed to you personally. Luther’s Letter will be mailed to each homebound member of our church.


My prayer that this letter will comfort you and assure you of God’s presence in your life.


Pastor Niveen


Click here to read the letter.