So if it were up to me, I would be fine going my whole career having never conducted a Polka Mass. I could have ended my ministry never having to sing "Please Forgive me" to the tune "Please release me..." (which isn't even a polka but more Country Swing)
But as those of us in the ministry know, it's not up to me. People in the midwest LOVE their Polkas. I like a good polka. At a wedding or a beer garden. But it's really just a matter of taste that I don't care for it in church. And worship is not just about my taste. I get a kick out of people who insist worship can only be classical music or German chorales and criticize those who like rock or pop or polka music by saying "oh they think worship is all about emotion" without admitting that it's all emotion for them too-- they just get their jollies from different music.
So I showed up to lead the community polka service this morning. Or I thought I was going to lead it. Really the polka band was leading it. Already my nose was out of joint. No mike for me, no podium for me to preach. Where am I supposed to preach from? "Oh last year the pastor didn't preach." Immediately I wished I had listened to my first instinct which was to take this Sunday for vacation.
I had about 15 minutes before my sermon to figure out how I was going to hold my sermon and bulletin in one hand (a sermon nobody wanted to listen to) and the mike in the other and preach standing behind the band. When it came time to preach I just left my sermon folded up and talked about Pentecost and the gifts of the spirit and how the spirit brings us all together even though we are all from different churches. Honestly I don['t know what I said. I made few jokes which I NEVER DO and people even laughed.
Whatever I said, people told me it was perfect. The few people I admitted to that I just made it up five minutes before were amazed and said they had no idea it was off the cuff.
I'm not writing this to brag about how wonderful I am. I'm not wonderful. I don't do this sort off the cuff stuff. I don't even like to pray off the cuff. It was the Holy Spirit. It blows where it will
But next week I'll go back to the manuscript.