After Luther's refusal to recant at the Diet of Worms in 1521 (and after already being condemned as a heretic by the Roman Catholic Church), Emperor Charles V placed him under a ban, known as the Edict of Worms. In that edict, the emperor decreed the following:
We enjoin you all not to take the aforementioned Martin Luther into your houses, not to receive him at court, to give him neither food nor drink, not to hide him, to afford him no help, following, support, encouragement, either clandestinely or publicly, through words or works. Where you can get him, seize him and overpower him, you should capture him and send him to us under tightest security.How would you like to do ministry under those circumstances?
Though Luther was whisked away and placed in hiding after the Diet of Worms (translating the New Testament into German during that time), he eventually returned to Wittenberg in 1522 to continue teaching, preaching, and pastoring - living every day under that ban. Few, if any of us, have to labor under such difficult circumstances. Still, let us be challenged by Luther's perseverance, and let us strive to be faithful amidst our own hardships.