When I moved to Sioux Falls sixteen years ago, I met a man named Guenter. His thick German accent caught my attention. Guenter had come to the US from Germany in the 1950s. I learned that Gunter was the founder of the Sioux Falls German Fest, and that he played the accordion and loved polka music. Ever since we did an annual polka service with Guenter leading the band.
Guenter passed away two years ago. He had a saying that I will never forget: “Happy music makes happy people!” When I first suggested doing a polka service, people laughed at me. But after experiencing it, they didn’t laugh anymore, but asked when we could do it again. There is something inherently joyful and happy in this music. It helps us as Christians to celebrate God’s love for us in Jesus.
Guenter’s last name was Neumann, which translates as “new man”. Because of the resur-rection of Jesus from the dead, Guenter truly is now a new man. This is the hope that we remember each Sun-day, the day of Jesus’ resurrection.
I want to encourage you to invite your friends or neighbors to worship that day. They will have a good experi-ence and hear the good news of God’s love proclaimed in sermon and song. And then stay for the German style meal after worship. The Norwegians have lutefisk and the Germans have sauerkraut, and I’m not sure which smells worst, but we will have a good time eating it. (Be sure to buy your meal tickets ahead of time!)
See you in worship!