We’d driven past Riverwood Community Church just west of Cannon Falls near Lake Byllesby when it was still primarily a stack of construction materials. I enjoyed going inside via video on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. The finished product features a substantial back-lit rugged cross that appears to be emerging from a large patch of rock on the back wall.

Great music. I didn’t know the songs but enjoyed the various instruments, close harmony and the words “my weapon is a melody.” I did even, as suggested, raise my hands in praise in the privacy of my own home.

Pastor Paul clarified whether his wife was waving at him in greeting or at somebody else. Then he said how it is a particularly good time in the history of our country to take an hour for personal reflection and restoration, so we can “regain perspective.”

Pastor Mark’s sermon talked about driver’s training. He said when he would take his kids out onto country roads it was easy for them to get concerned about going into the ditch. Then they’d start to look at it a little too hard and consequently start unintentionally heading in that direction. He pointed out that behavior was counterproductive. They should look at the center of the road and go forward.

He likened rumble strips along the side of the road (doing a fine imitation) to God speaking to you when you’re getting off track. He also explained that it used to be customary to read the Bible sort of out loud to yourself to help keep focused — a sacred mumble. He had us imagine putting together a toy on Christmas morning with somewhat complicated directions and how we might start to read the directions out loud to figure out the way various interconnecting parts should be assembled. It could be seen and heard as a form of meditation — a way to become further infused with the words.

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Pastor Mark quoted his wife’s comment, “If you know how to worry you know how to meditate.”

He also suggested substituting your own name for that of someone God is talking to in the Bible to gain greater emphasis and insight. This can all be done either while in your favorite chair or out on a walk. Or, you might like to have someone read the Bible to you. There’s an app for that — including one with the voice of James Earl Jones.

It was announced a couple of church elders were available at the side of the church to pray with you, if you’d like some personal journey roadside assistance.