Our “Most Read” Posts of 2022
Big thanks to all of you readers out there as another year of blogs comes to a conclusion. About 800 of you are subscribers, receiving blogs as they appear in your email box. If you want to become one just hit the “subscribe” button above right and give us your email. You can unsubscribe any time you wish. No charge for coming on board (or getting off).
In an ordinary month I have between 5,000 and 7,000 individual readers/ sessions. That number fluctuates depending on what’s going on and how often I write. I generally do 3 to 4 posts a week. A year’s output is probably on the order of 175. At an average of 750 words that is 131, 250 words, which is more or less the length of most of the books I have written.
Here at the end of 2022 I thought I’d highlight the 5 posts that garnered the most readers over the year now ending. We will do it Letterman fashion, starting with # 5 which was A Prayer for Election Day, appearing on November 7, 2022. I claim no credit for that mid-term election day turning out better than I had hoped, or feared, but it was to my mind one of the highlights of the year.
Number four was Dogs and Grace, which appeared in October. I could probably write one on dogs and grace every year and it would be in the top 5. Some of you have lost a beloved pooch this year. Thoughts go out to you. They live a big hole in our lives.
Number three was another from the month of October, A Lovely Autumn Hike, about a day on Mount Rainier with my good friend, Mike Pierson. Mike took the great photos featured with that piece. There are days you hit it just right. This was one.
Number two was a post-Uvalde shooting piece in which I particularly highlighted the reaction of the manager of the San Francisco Giants, Gabe Kapler. It was titled Being An American Today Means Living with “Moral Injury. ”
“To me Kapler puts words to our shared ‘moral injury.’ To the mix of sadness, anger, disorientation and despair that many citizens of this country are experiencing now — the experience of finding ourselves having ‘witnessed or perpetuated an act . . . that transgressed our deeply held moral beliefs and expectations.'”
If the better than expected outcome of the mid-term elections was one of the positives of 2022, no event was of greater sadness and evil in 2002 than the shooting of the children in Uvalde — except possibly our continued inability to really come to grips with the horror of mass shootings and gun violence in America. We are surely under God’s judgment for this.
Drum roll . . . the most read story of the year had the not especially zingy title of Why It Matters. It was about how we understand Easter and the resurrection. In that piece I took off from one written by the NYT contributor, Tish Harrison Warren, on why it matters that the resurrection really happened. I explored one of my favorite sermonic themes, the difference between moralism and proclamation in Christian preaching (which showed up again in my recent Christmas Day sermon).
As noted there, the gospel is not good advice, which is about the best you can say for moralism. It is good news, proclamation of news. Something has happened that makes all the difference. I am surprised, in hindsight, that such a theological piece was # 1 for the year, but perhaps I shouldn’t be. You are a theologically discerning readership.
Again, thanks for being a part of this venture. A number of you write in each week with thanks, thoughts, questions, protests and suggestions. I appreciate all of those notes from you and try to respond to them all. So keep ’em coming. Best wishes for you, your loved ones, our country and world in the new year to come.