March 2023


Maundy mandates

  A few days ago, I re-read the red-letter chapters (13-17) of John’s gospel. Jesus is talking with his disciples on the night of his betrayal, after the Passover meal and after Judas’ exit towards treachery. Jesus knew what was coming, so this was his last opportunity for transferring his heartfelt instructions and observations—even some *mandates—to the folks who would carry on after himMORE...

Now what?

  We live in confusing times—perhaps also vexing, anxious, over-stuffed or dangerous? Two questions dog our days: “What’s going on?” And *“Now what?” (The first one’s too complex for these few lines, so let me concentrate on the second one.) In some situations, our well-being and safety hang in the balance. After divorces, accidents, economic downturns, medical emergencies, disasters orMORE...

Be of good cheer

A couple of days ago I woke up with more than a tinge of old guy grumpiness—I hadn’t been sleeping well. For whatever reason—perhaps the surprising re-emergence of a Scripture passage memorized when I was very young?—this verse popped into my head: “Be of good cheer…” These words were part of Jesus’ Passover night conversations with his disciples, coming at the end of a series of his admonitionsMORE...

Frailments (Revisited)

Previously I wrote about coming frailties, from the viewpoint of someone not-yet-there. Today a few additional observations about this eventual part of aging, from perhaps other points-of-view.   It’s probably useful to push back against imagined frailties. Giving up on God-given strengths and capabilities doesn’t feel quite right. But that might be more difficult to consider when there areMORE...


Even though I deal with a variety of physical ailments, I don’t yet think of myself as frail. Right now, my body, mind and spirit feel strong and capable. With my spouse, I follow the guidelines for healthy living, keep my doctor appointments, thank God daily for an enviable genetic heritage and avoid the kind of self-talk that could become a woeful, self-fulfilling prophecy about the perils ofMORE...

Warning: Flammable contents

One of the possible benefits of growing older is the ability to see what might not work. A lifetime of experience can also hone our sense of possible danger. Today I take the risk of offering a warning about the (pressurized, flammable or explosive) expansion of society’s fascination with artificial intelligence. Forgive me for temporarily muting the significance of theological truth in thisMORE...

No pro forma here!

At worship a few Sundays back, it struck me that Faith Lutheran Church isn’t a pro forma place. Although we work within the boundaries of Scripture, sound doctrine and Christ-centered behaviors, we try not to get caught in ruts that can mire us in stifling ordinariness. We don’t go through the motions just to get by. To stay grounded and balanced, we dig into the core of conventional, customaryMORE...

Dropping pretense

“What’s Lent all about?” Recently, our pastor—quoting a *long-time friend—observed that “Lent is a time to drop pretense.” That startling idea instantly gathered together most of Lent’s rich contemplations. My thoughts—echoing and buoyed by our pastor’s further sermon observations—turned in these directions…. Pretense? I’ve always thought of it as not-so-good, part of the self-delusions thatMORE...

A good day

Over the past several weeks I’ve been trying out a method for bringing small moments of grace into the lives of service personnel and random strangers. My short, appreciative interchanges start with “Hi!—(pause)—You having a good day?” This approach might be enjoyable for you, too. Here’s how it has worked for me…. Some response sequences “If “YES!”, I continue with “What’s been goodMORE...

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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