June 2021


“Indeed, without our prayer”

There’s a lot of “deserving” talk going around these days. Apparently many of us feel that we are owed something for all the troubles we’ve encountered over the past months. That past injustices make us primary candidates for recompense. Or perhaps we even think that our exemplary lives make us worthy for other rewards. “Not so,” says Martin Luther. In his Small Catechism, he frames the meaningMORE...

Ongoing alleluias

A worship concept that’s helped me during difficult times is called “the ongoing alleluia.” The idea is both simple and profound: When worshippers gather together, their alleluias are part of something that spans the world endlessly, that involves them and like the wind of the Spirit, passes through on its way to others, present in all time and space. Many of these alleluias are offered inMORE...

Upfront uplifting

Lately I’ve been swatting away a foreboding that whirs around me like a mosquito looking for more than a good meal.  To be direct, the ongoing drought out West has gotten to my spirit. Various swatting-maneuvers—corporate worship, devotional reading, conversations, prayer—have helped for awhile, but then the pesky facts keep buzzing back: Californians will run out of water by August, part of theMORE...

Blessed assurance

  Schools are out, so this may be the time of year when your grandparenting kicks into high gear. A good share of that honored relationship could be summarized in the phrase, “Blessed assurance.”  (Yes, I am aware that some readers may accuse me of stealing words from a beloved hymn writer. In my defense, though, let’s just say that I’m singing them differently….) Much of your work withMORE...

Shadows of beauty

A few nights ago, I dreamed about being part of a meditative evening service at our church, with some post-COVID perils still lingering in worshipers’ minds. We ended the service by singing a canticle whose melody was framed around the evocative chordal structures of ancient modes/key signatures. (Those musical elements continue as reminders of the sturdiness of our faith practices over theMORE...

The Gospel of No!

I used to think that Good News was always a YES–that abundance-thinking was the way to approach life, and that positivity was to be preferred over negativity. Not so much these days, though. Now I’m tinkering with the idea that the Gospel can also be framed by NO’s, that maybe it should include some negative ideas and some scarcity thinking as well. First, remember that gospel (euangelion)MORE...

Not so fast

It’s starting to feel to me as though the entire nation may be rushing back into life as it used to be, as though the pandemic’s effects are now past. Two patterns seem to be emerging: ❶Letting down our guard about this plague, even though it’s still vigorously active—here and all over the world. ❷ Forgetting that the way we used to live was creating its own long-term problems. The second patternMORE...

Gratitude by any other adjective, Part 2

As you have seen, the idea and practice of gratitude occupies a lot of my thinking, and uses up a lot of pixels. That’s how I’ve found these additional words for your thankfulness vocabulary. Gratitude is a beatitude. When you count your blessings, it’s hard not to be grateful for them. “Happy is the one…” says Jesus. Gratitude is probably a blessing, too, adding measurably to your life’sMORE...

Gratitude by any other adjective

In my ongoing effort to enliven ecclesiological language, I offer the following adjectival additions to the concept of gratitude. First, let’s start with the presumption that gratitude may need some help. Some of the church’s verbiage illustrates this necessity—as in “the attitude of gratitude.” (Note here the extra oomph that rhyming adds to the concept of thankfulness!)  Second, let’s imagineMORE...

Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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