“There is nothing new under the sun.” Ecc. 1:19

We are familiar with the plagues in Exodus. God sends lice and gnats and locusts to infest the people of Egypt. Then he condemns the people to suffer from boils. Next he kills the first born of every family in the land.

These plagues were laser guided for some particular reason. When I was studying my Catechism and talking to friends who went to Vacation Bible School (circa 1957) we all agreed that all this suffering was a little over the top and we couldn’t understand it. But what did we know, we were only 10 years old.

Years later in high school and university we learned about plagues in China 5,000 years ago and the Great Plague of 430 BC in Athens, Greece. From 165-180 AD, the Antonine Plague raged in Rome. Brought to Rome by returning Legionnaires and believed to be small pox, this pandemic killed 5,000,000 people in the Empire. In the 3d and 6th Centuries pandemics raged in Athens and North Africa. There were many who warned that the “end of the world was at hand.”

In the mid-14th century, the Black Death roared for seven years killing one-half of the entire population of Europe. Again, cries went up that the Millennium was nigh. Others pointed out that the Millennium was supposed to have arrived around 1000 AD and nothing happened. The Pope even sent Crusaders to the Holy Land to boot the Muslims out and kick start the end times, but nothing came of it.

Martin Luther made a name for himself when he gave the Catholic Church a thunderous body blow followed by a mean right hook. The Church of Rome was out for the count in much of Europe. A short time later the bubonic plague hit.

It is interesting... nearly everyone listened to Luther when he prayed during this pandemic. He was adamant: regardless of one’s faith, “we are all bound to each other.” He preached that it was of the utmost importance to work and prevent the spread of this terror. He advised taking medicines, disinfecting homes, and avoiding contact with others.

If however, one knew of someone who needed help, it would be a Christian duty to help in some way.

Bill Scholly,


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