“Godliness is nothing but divine service to one’s neighbor” — Martin Luther

mercy

The Fifth Commandment binds us to care for the neighbor, helping and supporting him in every physical need. ‘Godliness,’ Luther says, is ‘nothing but divine service, and divine service is service to one’s neighbor.’ Christ hides behind the mask of the sick and needy to receive this service from us. To run away from infected neighbors is to run away from Christ Himself.

From: “Answering the ‘Why’ Question: Martin Luther on Human Suffering and God’s Mercy,” by John Pless in Mercy In Action: Essays on Mercy, Human Care and Disaster Response, St. Louis: The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, p. 53.

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