I want to share these words and prayer for us when we cannot gather for worship.
Gracious God, it is good for us to gather as your beloved in community. We treasure your presence among us in word and meal, song and prayer. Be with us in these days when gathering together as often as we would like is not possible. When we must be apart for reasons of safety, we trust that you surround us with your sheltering wings. Encourage us in connecting as we are able, reaching out to our neighbors in need, and being persistent in prayer.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, our constant companion.
(from Prayer in Time of Public Health Concerns, ELCA)
Finally, something from Martin Luther (Luther’s Work Volume 43, p. 132, the letter “Whether one may flee from a deadly plague” written to Rev. Dr. John Hess)
Luther wrote these words when dealing with the plague: “I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it myself. 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. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me, and I have done what he has expected of me, 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.” – Martin Luther