I’ve been inside the First Congregational Church of Cannon Falls a few times — and driven past it in all sorts of weather. The first time inside, I would have certainly noticed their stained glass windows. The prominent portrayal of Christ carrying a lamb is the very same scene my grandmother had hanging on the wall of their farmhouse in an ornate gold frame.

Following a link on their website, I listened to a worship video from July 19. After the ringing of bells and a few measures of “Old Rugged Cross” on a violin with a picture of said window in the background, I settled in with a relaxed sigh to the piano prelude of “Heavenly Sunlight” with its trilling high notes — like birdsong.

The sermon given by guest pastor Bill was originally scheduled for February, but was postponed due to a winter storm.

He told a good story. He spent time in Guatemala sleeping in a tent inside a school house. Every morning before the break of dawn Pablo would open the door and politely announce himself before systematically snapping on the breaker switches for the village’s two and a half hours of electricity.

Picture single illuminated bulbs.

Also imagine salt and fresh tortillas being made. Being “the salt of the earth“ and bringing “light into the darkness” were both part of the readings.

Hearing the preacher’s comments about how it doesn’t take a lot of salt to make an ordinary recipe extraordinary, I recalled hearing Tom Hanks say how food that tasted savory and delicious to him tasted like bland “oatmeal” to his wife when they were both infected with the coronavirus. One can’t always savor the flavor.

Even though Pablo’s extended family sleeps four or five to a bed, they have enough land to grow corn and beans and squash. His hope for his children is that they stay in the village, because it is a good life.

Pastor Bill encourages youth here to “craft an identity” to help them realize their very real “power” to bring light and flavor to this life.