Saturday, September 18, 2021

As people are still wanting to return to the pre-pandemic life of late 2019 – that’s almost two years ago – the number of infected persons has been slowly but steadily rising here in New Jersey as well as the rest of the tristate area. We are seeing an increase in the number of hospitalizations although the numbers on ventilators an in critical care are not as dramatic as they have been in the past.

And we are still suffering the loss of life as well.  Yesterday the New Jersey Department of Health reported 17 more had died, bringing the total to 27,165. That’s just here in New Jersey; nationally, we are inching up to about 690,000. Also distressing is the fact that many of the bodies are unclaimed by family.

Funeral costs can be staggering.  A quick survey of funeral costs range from the least expense in the range of $5800 to well over $10,000. And that only covers the funeral home.  If a body is unclaimed, it will be cremated. Under New Jersey law, unclaimed cremains can be disposed of after one year, but some counties keep the boxes of cremains hoping that people who were alone in life will not be alone in death.

Prayer for the Day

You know our hearts and minds above our words, O God,

   For words can be used as a shield against our deepest fears;

Share with us your heart, O God, so we may share your love with others,

   Share with us your mind, O God, so we may think clearly.

Share with us your vision, O God, so ours may be broadened,

  And share with us your soul, God of Jesus, that we may reflect his life.

In the name of him who shows us how to live,

   Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.

Thoughts for the Day

We don’t heal in isolation but in community.

            S. Kelley Harrell, American religious writer

Ah, when in the heart of man/Was it ever less than a treason

   To go with the drift of things,/To yield with a grace to reason,

To bow and accept the end/Of a love or a season?

            Robert Frost, poet, from Reluctance (1874-1963)

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,

   For they have been from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions,

   According to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

            Psalm 25: 6-7