Visiting the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center today showed that there have been 421,239 deaths in the United States from COVID-19. Around the world, the number of deaths is recorded as 2,143,198 and Frederick County Health Department reports 232 deaths. The numbers keep growing and the impact continues to be felt in hospitals and nursing homes, penitentiaries and grocery stores, restaurants and family living rooms. Although it’s good to know that there are two proven vaccines that have been authorized for use and others on the way, the process for rolling out the vaccines has been frustratingly slow and uneven. We wait and wait some more, already tired by the months that we have been unable to travel, to hug, to share together with one another.
Although we need to see the numbers, the meaning is so much more than numbers. Each number is a life of a brother or sister, a parent or child, a friend.
In the midst of so much disruption, we need to mourn and to remember those who have lost their lives. Although we cannot gather, we can still find ways to offer our prayers and lift up the lives and memories of those who have died. We can light a candle, ring a bell, say a prayer, observe a moment of silence. We can do so as a congregation, as a community, as a nation and as the human race.
We can balance hope as well as mourning. Although we are weary now, we can also know that God is with us in this moment and that we have already been given the strength and provision needed to get us this far. Let us press on from here.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Steve Larsen