My Top Ten Posts in 2020

Once again, as the old year passes and the new year beckons, it has been my custom to look back at my most popular posts of the year.

2020 was a strange and difficult year for us all, among a deadly pandemic, a discordant presidential election, and a national racial reckoning on the chronic unhealed wound of racial bigotry. My post “Across the Bridge” is about my own reflections after my trip to Selma and Montgomery last year.

And like so many in 2020, I lost some dear to me. Two of my posts were remembrances for dear friends that I sorely miss. Several of the posts here are of sermons that I gave as a guest preacher, both in person and virtually after the middle of March, as in-person worship ceased. Some of these also contain podcasts or videos if you would prefer to listen to them (check the bottom of the post).

For most of 2020 various cohorts of my children and grandchildren have been living with us. I have chiefly been the cook for the crowd, and it has been a joy as well as a challenge to have us all under the same roof. This reminds that even in hardship there can be blessings. I hope for better times ahead for us all.

I need to say a word about my Website. It is non-commercial and open source (but please give attribution if you quote or copy stuff). I pay for my domain name and for a WordPress tier that keeps you from having to see ads. I don’t make a penny on it, and there are no gimmicks.

To sum up the year: I had forty-five thousand visits in 2020, and I currently have 229 followers. Thank you all so much for visiting and come by again in 2021.

Here are the most visited posts of 2020:

“It was twenty years ago today” My Life with Traumatic Brain Injury

“Whom Shall I Fear?” A Reflection on Psalm 27

“Our lovely Passover dinner was a challenge”

“Faith and Fear” Reflections on Psalm 27 during the Pandemic

Words of Remembrance for Don McGillis (1946-2020)

Dudne M. Breeze (1038-2020) A Remembrance

A Reflection on Forty-Five Years of Ordained Ministry

“Across the Bridge” A Personal Reflection

Christmas Eve Reflections

“Imagining our New Normal”

And then there are the posts from other years that still get many views. The Herod one had  over 13,000 last year for some reason known only to the algorithm. The same with my Advent sermon from 20 years ago that goes viral every Advent.

Here all the all-time best viewed posts from my site:

Why did Jesus refer to Herod as “That fox” in Luke 13:32”?

“Rejoice! Rejoice! A Sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent

The Riddle of “Smokehead” Single Malt Whisky

“Displaced Persons” A Sermon on Jeremiah 29: 1-14

“God Gives the Growth:” A Retirement Sermon

Prayer for a Retired Pastor

“God With Us” A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

“Unexpected Miracles” A Sermon on Isaiah 43: 16-21

“The Lord Will Provide:” A Sermon on Genesis 22

“Of Fig Trees and Second Chances” A Sermon on Like 13: 6-9

(About the header pictures on my blog: this is the view out my back window, or in the warm weather, off my back porch where I do a lot of my writing. I change the picture with the changing seasons. All the photos are my own.)

Christmas Eve Reflections

I lead a little weekly Bible Study on Zoom and yesterday we had the story of the birth of Jesus from Luke Chapter 2. The Christmas story is a good one in which to ponder how we read Scripture since it is so familiar to us. After nearly a half century of studying Scripture for preaching I am still finding discoveries in texts that I thought were “settled.” The Christmas story is one such text.

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Richard L. Floyd: “Prophetic” pastors who don’t love the church

(This article first appeared on the Faith and Leadership blog of Duke Divinity School on on March 17, 2010.)

If the main reason you become a pastor is to promote some cause, then your soul is in danger, and so is the congregation’s.

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Words of Remembrance for Don McGillis (1946-2020)

(Don McGillis was the former Editor of the Berkshire Eagle and a long-time reporter for the Boston Globe. He was also my friend. He died last week after spending the night stranded on Mount Katahdin in Maine and suffering a 50-foot fall. His family invited me to share some words at his memorial service yesterday) 

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Book Review: “Useful Wisdom: Letters to Young (and Not-So-Young) Ministers” by Anthony B. Robinson

Book Review: “Useful Wisdom: Letters to Young (and Not-so-Young) Ministers” by Anthony B. Robinson, Cascade Books, 2020. (Link to the book at Wipf and Stock here.)

By Richard L. Floyd

This little book is well-titled, for it is both useful and wise. In the interest of transparency, let me say that I have known Tony Robinson as a friend and interlocutor for decades. During that time, I have admired his many writings, which are clearly and concisely written, and grow out of his pastoral experience and long years as a church consultant. Continue reading

A Reflection on Forty-Five Years of Ordained Ministry

On this day forty-five years ago, September 21, 1975, I was ordained into the Christian Ministry of Word and Sacrament at the Newton Highlands Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts. I was 26. Continue reading

Dudne M. Breeze (1938-2020) A Remembrance

Greetings from the Berkshire Hills. I’m Rick Floyd and I’m Pastor Emeritus of the First Church of Christ in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

It will be 50 years ago next year that I walked down the Andover Newton hill and took the MBTA from Newton Centre to Newton Highlands for a job interview to run a coffee house at the Newton Highlands Congregational Church. Continue reading