Lent in earnest

This year, Lent is front-and-center for me. Not just the themes—self-examination, repentance, self-sacrifice, Jesus’ suffering and death—but also the emotions and actions that accompany those ideas. The cruel barbarism of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine evokes my condemnation for this once-mighty country’s leader. The relentless, random bombardment of civilians recalls all theMORE...

Kenosis all around?

During Lent, one of the things we acknowledge and celebrate is Jesus’ willingness to *empty himself completely in order to take on human form. In the Greek, this is called kenosis, literally a “pouring out”. I may be stretching the point, but there seems to be a lot of this kind of behavior almost everywhere I look. People who are giving up almost everything in order to care for others, to liveMORE...


It occurred to me recently that I haven’t been smiling as much as I used to. (Part of my older gentleman’s wrinkles have for *years included the tell-tale creases of repeated beaming.) Noting this possible rumple in my attitude/behavior character traits, I add these few thoughts…. These recent years have seemed full of nonstop, smile-diminishing anxiety. But despite war rumbles, continuingMORE...

Getting ready for Lent

  Don’t look now, but pre-Lent Sundays are heading your way. Formerly known by their numerical designations—e.g., Septuagesima—these days were markers for what was surely coming: The tones and tunes of Lent.  Those names may have been removed, but not the themes: “Get ready! Lent is coming!” For a couple of years now, I have had conversations with a team of remarkable *consultants. TheirMORE...

Lent unlike any other?

This time around, Lent seems more focused, more tangible—perhaps more real?—for me. Almost like I’ve come back to Lent’s original nature or purpose. I’m tempted to think that this is especially true for older adults, but that’s probably not accurate: This time around, Lent is for all of us. Lent-like thoughts and feelings seem to have been tagging along with me for the past year. Deep sorrowMORE...

Viral Lent

I don’t know if it’s just me, but this year’s Lenten season seems especially essential, relatable and inviting of my spirit. Lent themes and emotions seem strongly connected to current events almost everywhere I look. Thoughts arising out of the *COVID-19 outbreak are a good example. Perhaps Lent has gone viral? Lent calls me to confess my sinfulness, to seek forgiveness and to hope dearly forMORE...

Full of what?

Late in his life, my father would often comment, “Getting old isn’t for sissies.” This was his way of reminding himself and the rest of us that fullness of years isn’t a walk in the park. It was my father’s voice—and witness—that came to mind when I started these blogs. It would be easy to think of fullness-of-years as code language for an older-adult version of the prosperity gospel—as thoughMORE...

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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