A season for waiting

In its original manifestation—4th century CE—Advent was the time for converts to Christianity to prepare themselves for their baptisms at Epiphany. That ancient practice might be helpful as we try to wrestle with the current state of the world, and our place in it. Some personal thoughts…. Back in my halcyon days, waiting could feel like a waste—”So much to do and so little time.” IMORE...

Signs and wonders

The Advent lectionary sometimes includes Jesus’ comment about signs and wonders that will announce his Second Coming. (See Matthew 24 as an example.) Those omens will include natural disasters as well as human-caused catastrophes. These dark, foreboding omens signal world-ending events God’s people might expect. Today I offer a slightly contrarian view: That some of our contemporary signs andMORE...

Let’s get serious!

From my vantage point, Advent’s ideals don’t suggest a whole lot of frivolity. The season’s sharp focus on present and future realities tugs at something else inside my spirit, reminding me that “celebration” may not be the highest manifestation of spirituality. Seasonal Scriptures remind me about God’s action in history and what surely is coming, perhaps soon. “Get serious” is what I hear. ThisMORE...

Let’s get real!

One lively feature of Advent is its attention to reality. The season’s down-to-earth emphases course through prayers, texts, hymnody and sermons. These themes, stories and invitations seem more tangible, more connected to the emotions that live inside me right now. Advent’s warnings, hopes and promises don’t mince words. I am less moved to stand or stare in wonder—that will come soon enough atMORE...

An Advent Gospel Reading

It’s Advent season, and its blessings are becoming apparent again. Because of Advent’s place in the calendar, we can look backward and forward in time—with perhaps-heightened awareness—so that our present moments remain satisfying, useful and important. We can move with the currents of these days, but still remain moored to what God has done throughout history and what God intends for us into theMORE...

Confession first, then repentance

This entry introduces a short series of occasional blogs that will appear during Advent. Over the centuries, Advent has been a time of expectant repentance—part of our preparation for Christ to come into our lives. Today we start at the beginning of that process—thinking about confession.   In my worship tradition, the liturgy begins with a signature invocation—“In the Name of the Father, the SonMORE...

A COVID Advent

Advent will soon be peeking out from our calendars. This time around, Advent will be observed in the middle of a worldwide epidemic. It’s possible, though, that these four weeks could be helpful for our spirits. COVID-19 is called a coronavirus because its cells’ club-shaped projections resemble the tines of a crown. During this past Lent, this crown-mimicry recalled the thorned-garland crushedMORE...

The Way of Prudence

  Attached to this e-mail is a file containing a special piece of blogger content: A short sketch/play. It’s part of a series I started, trying to add some thoughts to the O Antiphons—the short daily prayers that come from Medieval times. (Summarized in hymn form, they constitute the content for “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.) This short play, “The Way of Prudence,” takes a sideways look at theMORE...

Climate conversation 3: A spiritual core?

Today’s entry is part of a periodic series of observations about changes in the world’s climate that will affect all of us, old and young alike. The series bends toward a key question: As God’s people, what can we think or do about these matters? Today’s entry goes to the heart of the matter: This has to do with our faith lives! It can be comforting to worship during Advent…. If you’re at allMORE...

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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