We Wait in Expectation

I’ve been thinking about the spiritual discipline of waiting lately as we are working on the next issue of Reformed Worship and waiting is one of its themes. Sometimes our waiting is short lived like when the Amazon package arrives on my doorstep early, even before I had begun to wait. And sometimes our patience is tested as it seems that the waiting knows no end.

Many of us find ourselves still waiting for the end of COVID, though we aren’t exactly sure how we will know when we’ve crossed that finish line. Meanwhile we hear of other places where restrictions are lifted and people are enjoying being reunited with extended family and brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you are a subscriber to the print or digital issue of Reformed Worship and have had the opportunity to look through the June issue you may have noted that some articles seem to suggest that we have crossed the COVID finish line. I remember when I was editing these articles last January I wondered if I should change that language and optimistically decided to keep it. But here we are at the beginning of June, and while we celebrate the news of the slowing spread of COVID in some parts of the world we realize that that is not the case everywhere—especially in places like India and Brazil.

Wherever you are on the COVID journey we hope that you will find useful resources in the Reformed Worship journal and on this website. As always feel free to adapt non-copyrighted resources to fit the context of your worshiping community.

In our public and personal prayers and in our daily living let us not forget to continue to pray and advocate for those who are still waiting for even a glimpse of the COVID finish line. For those of us who think we’ve completed the race let us continue to be vigilant lest we find that it really wasn’t the end after all but a stop along the way. Regardless of where we are, let us be people of hope as we wait in eager expectation for the return of Christ Jesus when disease and death will be no more.

Triune God, creator, sustainer, and redeemer;
      you are sovereign over the cosmos.
You can direct the gentle breeze
      and still the hurricane.
You can control the waters with your voice.
You care about the smallest bird
      and know the number of hairs on our head.
That is why we turn to you and ask you to intervene—
      end this pandemic and indeed all illnesses that run amok in this world.
Triune God, hear our prayer.
We wait in expectation.

Triune God, creator, sustainer, and redeemer;
      you sustain all things.
You sustain the rising and setting of the sun,
      and our very breath.
You are the Great Physician.
That is why we turn to you and ask you to intervene,
      to work through miracles and the faithful efforts of scientists and medical providers,
      to use vaccines and ventilators so that all may experience restored health.
Triune God, hear our prayer.
We wait in expectation.

Triune God, creator, sustainer, and redeemer;
      we know that what ails this world is so much more than COVID
We know that the brokenness of nature is a result of humanity’s fall into sin,
      and that that sin permeates our systems and relationships,
      our thoughts and our actions.
We know that our only hope is in you our redeemer and savior
      who chose to die so that we may have eternal life.
In the midst of the brokenness of life, even as we grieve and lament,
      help us not to lose hope in the resurrection
      and the promise of a new heaven and earth.
Triune God, hear our prayer.

We wait in expectation.
Amen.

 —Joyce Borger 2021 © 2021 Reformed Worship, Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church.

Joyce Borger, an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church, is editor of Reformed Worship and director of Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church.