As you probably know by now, I like to take every opportunity I can to reflect on where I’ve been and were I’m headed. And so on this penultimate day of 2019, what better time to look back on the year that has been for this blog?
2019 has been a great year, so thank you to all of you who have followed along with me. Thanks especially to those of you who have reached out with your comments and affirmations. It means a lot to me!
By way of reflection, January and February saw a recurring theme of social and moral inertia — the power of the status quo over us and how change is perceived as a threat. The middle of the year was largely taken up with the theme of Good Fruit, and in particular the exploration of how the VIA Institute for Character Strengths’ twenty-four universal characteristics of human well-being relate to the Christian idea of bearing good fruit in our lives. Other themes this year include the everydayness of the life of faith, embracing discomfort and paradox, and the idea of meaning-making.
While my major goal for the year was to write one post each week based on my daily lectio divina practice, 2019 also saw a movement towards intentional series, including most notably the Good Fruit series, but also Languages of God, which looked the life of faith through linguistic analogies, the series on the O Antiphons in the lead up to Christmas, and two series which will carry over into 2020: Knowing God, and My Year of Magical Thinking. This has been a fun and challenging transition in my writing, and I look forward to some other major projects in the year to come.
Without further ado, here are the ten most popular posts from the past year:
- A Word from the Wisemen (Epiphany 2019), about the importance of paying attention.
- Fire on the Earth, a sermon I gave in August about the conflict between true peace and what the world calls peace.
- Good Fruit, the main page for the series.
- Life as a Sacred Practice, which brought together what I learned in my exploration throughout 2018 of various sacred practices
- Own It, which begins as a reflection on the revelation of the divine name to Moses, but turns into what is as close as I’ve come to a manifesto.
- Magic, in which I introduce my attempt to re-enchant my disenchanted world
- Creativity, from the Good Fruit project
- The Big, Beautiful, All-Encompassing Salvation of our God, a recent reflection on the breadth of the idea of salvation in the Scriptures
- Year End Practices, providing some resources for how to make a meaningful transition into the new year
- For Good?, on providence and the choices we make every day.
Some of my favorite posts that didn’t make the most popular but which I think are worth another look include:
- Face to Face, about the importance of facing our fears, shadow, discomfort, and reality head on
- The Unruly and Abnormal Holy Spirit, about how what is holy can never be confused with what is conventional
- Where You Cast Your Nets, about how what we ‘catch’ — metaphorically as much as literally — depends a great deal on where we’re fishing
- Bound / Freed, an Integral reading of the Binding of Isaac
- Seen, an Integral reading of the Jacob’s wrestling with God
- All is Kairos, about asking what the present moment calls for
- I Saw Satan Fall, about a surprising lesson on ‘spiritual warfare’ from the book of Revelation.
Thanks again for journeying with me this year; I’m excited to see what 2020 will bring!