Top Ten 2021
A Year at The Cottage
In 2021, the Cottage featured a wide range of posts — from politics to religious trends to inspiration. Here are the year’s 10 most popular essays and the two most downloaded audios.
Do you have a 2021 favorite that doesn’t appear in the top ten? A piece that was particularly meaningful to you? Leave a comment and share it with the community.
#10 Blue Advent: “We need not fear the dark.” (32,779 views)
#9 Merry Christmas: Featuring a poem by Madeleine L’Engle. (33,817 views)
#8 Rupture, Not Rapture: “How does one navigate such brokenness?” (33,906 views)
#7 Observe and Contemplate: “Winter gives us the opportunity to see the structure of the world more clearly.” (34,874 views)
#6 Not Dead Yet: A glimpse of hope for mainline congregations. (38,132)
#5 A Better Middle: Rewriting a Super Bowl ad. (38,288)
#4 Religion After Pandemic: “We need to find ourselves again; we need to be relocated in the world.” (38,987)
#3 The Sadness of the Sacred: The Conflict of the Rotunda. (39,586)
#2 Religious Dimensions of the Current Crisis: “A new religious ethnonationalism was being born in front of our eyes.” (39,806)
#1: Wolf in Fleece Clothing: An examination of religion in the Virginia governor’s election. (50,974)
#2 The Rock That Births You: A surprising exploration of the gloomy Gospel of Mark.
#1 Unbinding Jesus: A sermon on Jesus and Mary Magdalene based on provocative new research in biblical studies.
Now winter downs the dying of the year,
And night is all a settlement of snow;
From the soft street the rooms of houses show
A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,
Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin
And still allows some stirring down within.
I’ve known the wind by water banks to shake
The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell
And held in ice as dancers in a spell
Fluttered all winter long into a lake;
Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,
They seemed their own most perfect monument.
There was perfection in the death of ferns
Which laid their fragile cheeks against the stone
A million years. Great mammoths overthrown
Composedly have made their long sojourns,
Like palaces of patience, in the gray
And changeless lands of ice. And at Pompeii
The little dog lay curled and did not rise
But slept the deeper as the ashes rose
And found the people incomplete, and froze
The random hands, the loose unready eyes
Of men expecting yet another sun
To do the shapely thing they had not done.
These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
More time, more time. Barrages of applause
Come muffled from a buried radio.
The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow.
An online event offered by CONVERGENCE/FAITH LEAD.
SUNDAY, January 9 from 3:00-5:00PM eastern
Convergence/Faith Lead hosts me and Rev. Cameron Trimble for a conversation about the state of our institutions, ruptures in our culture, opportunities for people of faith and what Epiphany offers us as a lens to move forward. (This event is not produced by The Cottage.)
Convergence offers 10% discount to Cottage readers. For more info: CLICK HERE
ONE MORE DAY!
Give the gift of The Cottage to your pastor, a friend, a family member — to anyone looking for thoughtful, heart-full companionship of “faith different” on their spiritual journey.
If you give a year gift subscription during December (MIDNIGHT DECEMBER 31 is the last day for this offer), you will receive a copy of my book Grateful (only good for books that can be delivered to US addresses).
THANK YOU for making 2021 a great year here at The Cottage — and for inviting me and my words to accompany you on your spiritual journey.