1 Peter 1:3-9 (NIV)
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls"
Tony Campolo tells the story of an African American Baptist preacher in the inner city of Philadelphia who preached a sermon Tony says he'll never forget. Tony preached first. He was "hot," so "hot" he says, that he even stopped and listened to himself. He sat down and said to his pastor: "Now see if you can top that one!" "Son," said the African American pastor, "you ain't seen nothin' yet." For an hour and a half the pastor repeated these words over and over again: "It's Friday, but Sunday's a comin'."
"I've never heard anything like it," Tony said. "He the cross. He's dying the agonizing death of crucifixion as a criminal. just kept saying it. The congregation was spellbound by the power of it."
"It's Friday. Mary, Jesus' mother is crying her eyes out. That's her son up there on the cross. But it's only Friday," the preacher said. "Sunday's a comin'.
"The apostles were really down and out. Jesus, their leader, was being killed by evil men. But it was only Friday. Sunday is a comin'.
"The Devil thought he had won. 'You thought you could outwit me,' he said, 'but I've got you now.' But it was only Friday. Sunday is a comin'."
"He went on like that for 30 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour. Each time he said, 'It's Friday,' the crowd began to respond, 'but Sunday's comin'. An hour and 15 minutes.
"It's Friday and evil has triumphed over good. Jesus is dying up there on the cross. The world is turned upside down. This shouldn't happen. But it's only Friday. Sunday's a comin'.
"It's Friday. But Sunday is comin'. Mary Magdalene was out of her mind with grief. Her Lord was being killed. Jesus had turned her life from sin to grace. Now he was dead. But it's only Friday. Sunday is a comin'."
The place was rocking. For an hour and a half. "Friday! But Sunday is a comin'. Friday. But Sunday is a comin'. "The sisters and the brothers are suffering. It just isn't fair...all they have to go through, but it's only Friday. Sunday is comin'."
"I was exhausted," Tony said. "It was the best sermon I've ever heard. The old preacher was saying it and the people were with him. 'It's Friday, but Sunday is a comin'. It was powerful," Tony said. "It was personal."
Friends, whatever you are facing at the moment may seem like Friday, perhaps even a "Good Friday." But be certain of this, while it may be Friday, Sunday is a comin'!
BUT SUNDAY'S A-COMIN'!!