Full of Years

If you value people who are older—and also your own aging—these entries will help you rejoice in the fullness of this stage of life: its gritty realities, secret joys, hidden spirituality and cherished moments—reasons to be grateful that old age is always a gift from God!

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Living the descant

  Living joyfully through a variety of worship services this past holiday season, I realized how many descants I’ve heard during that time. As you might imagine, “This got me to thinking….” In its original Latinate form, a descant was a cantus (voice) set apart. Connected loosely to the emergence of polyphonic (many-voices) musical styles, the descant was a melody—usually sung or played at aMORE...

Another Holy Family Story

(The Sunday after Christmas is sometimes designated as Holy Family Sunday, a time to remember how Joseph, Mary and Jesus escaped Herod. Today my thoughts about another way to think of that event.) CHARACTERS Herod (Computer hacker) The Holy Family (Computer innocents) The Magi and an angel (Geek Squad)   TRADITIONAL STORY Generously gifted by the Wise Men, Mary and Joseph may not haveMORE...

The quiet family

Today might be a good time to start thinking about this coming Holy Family Sunday: Imagine how it might have felt for Mary and Joseph after the shepherds had headed back to their flocks. This new family was alone once again. Their makeshift maternity ward was still a stable. They were still political pawns in Rome’s bean-counting census. They were still strangers in this village far away fromMORE...

Fear not….

Now’s the season when “Fear not!” claims its place in the lexicon of faith-based attitudes and actions. The sources of this proclamation include a variety of angelic greetings—to Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds—as well as Jesus’ assurances throughout his ministry. Well-reasoned sermons and Christmas greetings notwithstanding, part of me wants to say, “Wait a minute…!”  I know theMORE...

Sursum corda

An ancient interchange begins the Eucharistic Prayer section of each Sunday’s liturgy. The celebrant invites us to ”Lift up your hearts,” to which we respond, “We lift them up to the Lord.” This versicle—literally “upward hearts”—frames the following rituals with joy. During these Yuletide days, the sursum corda exchange might also be another way to say “Merry Christmas.” There’s somethingMORE...

The last time

One Advent theme that doesn’t get much attention comes from the idea that we live in the last times. That the world will end, perhaps soon and perhaps suddenly. The connected thought: As we head toward the end of our lives, there will be a host of “last times”—final events, thoughts and relationships that have graced our lives. Examples: The last Christmas involving your whole family; yourMORE...

Internal derangement?

As the result of some recent medical tests, I have come to find out that part of one knee is “internally deranged.”  Always curious about anything medical, I wondered where else this diagnosis might apply. What other thoughts it might eventually generate. If deranged denotes the generic misplacement or inappropriateness of something, I’m willing to accept that diagnosis as generally true about meMORE...

Moral injury

The December, 2022 issue of Scientific American included an article titled, *“An Invisible Epidemic.” Its subject: Moral injury, a psychological condition that results when someone’s principles are violated by contextual necessities. Examples include: healthcare providers during COVID’s worst days or soldiers killing civilians during wartime. Ethically wrenching situations were their new normalMORE...

The answer to “How long?”

During difficult times, God’s people have repeatedly prayed, “How long, dear Lord? How long?” This plea for rescue from overwhelming circumstances has been an integral part of Jewish spirituality. That prayer may have applied to us, too. Especially recently. It’s also an Advent theme: We await a final rescue, the defeat of enemies who have oppressed all of us. We’re bold to send Heavenward ourMORE...

The lines that connect us

(Note: The thoughts that follow come from the art on an American Airlines napkin, the kind you get with pretzels or small cookies. This mini-drawing symbolized the span of the United States cities using only a single line. An intricate, beautiful line that joined both coasts to the middle of this great country.) However it happens, we are connected. What joins us to each other are lines: TangibleMORE...

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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