Brothers and Sisters,
In connection with the pandemic of the coronavirus, we pray with special diligence for the speedy recovery of the infected and the termination of the infection’s spread.
I call pastors and church members to keep calm, observe sensible precautions, and avoid panic. Until the termination of the pandemic, I recommend taking Holy Communion by dipping the Eucharistic bread in the wine. If you have developed ARVI symptoms, please refrain from attending worship and inform the pastor or other congregational officers about the need to pray for your health. Follow hand hygiene.
We live in a sin-stricken world where there are many diseases that threaten people’s lives. By behaving in a sensible way, we can as much as possible protect ourselves and our loved ones from dangerous infections. At the same time, it is important to remember that our life and health are in the Lord’s hand. God sends people times of wellbeing as well as periods of trial. We only need to remain faithful to His Word at all times and in all circumstances, remembering that the worst sickness we should strive to fight is the sickness of sin, which kills not only the person’s body, but also their soul.
Let us then, in repentance, turn again and again to Christ who has promised to be with us “to the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:20)
Ivan Laptev, Bishop of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria
Photo credits: Liliann Keskinen