Friday, April 10, 2009

It's Friday, But Sunday's A-Comin'

I heard Tony Campolo tell this story on an audio taped sermon years ago. I have never forgotten it. When I googled the phrase, I found
Tony's Story, which I cut and pasted here.

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's on 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'!




Linda said...

This was so uplifting and encouraging Dawn. There are so many of us going through "friday" right now - but we have the blessed assurance that friday is indeed coming. Praise God!
Have a blessed Easter Dawn. I am praying for all of you.

Linda said...

I meant Sunday is coming. I never edit myself and then I'm completely embarrassed when I see my mistakes and no way to fix them!
Sorry about that.

nancygrayce said...

That truly was uplifting! I have heard the phrase before, but not the whole sermon! Thanks.....cause it's Friday here too.

Midlife Mom said...

I had never heard that phrase before and it is wonderful! It says it all doesn't it?! I also love Tony Campolo's speaking. He really says it like it is. Hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend Dawn. I'm down with a nasty cold so won't be going to the Good Friday service tonight but hope to be on the mend by Sunday. xoxoxo

grammy said...

I just found that last week and printed it. I heard it on Focus years ago. I handed the print out to my son earlier this evening. Funny that we were on the same track. Thanks for the email with the attachment. I am speechless. I will email you to share some things that are on my heart. It is 11 0-clock right now so I better wait till later (o:

Diane @ Partners in Prayer said...


May we remember that each moment of our lives....

It's Friday, Dawn.....but Sunday's comin'!



Susan said...

Not only did Sunday come.....but He is coming back!!!!!

Laurie in Ca. said...

I love this Dawn, thank you for posting it. It is Saturday afternoon here and I find myself in between Friday and Sunday. I can only imagine the day of not knowing back then for all who loved Him, if it was really true and He would be back. What a joy to see the empty tomb and see Him a short while later.
We have the blessed assurance today that He is coming back again. Have a wonderful day with family tomorrow. I am praying for Kevin and his heart.

Love and Hugs, Laurie

Mary said...


The tomb is empty. Jesus has risen.

Happy Easter, my friend.

Sharon Lynne said...

Thanks for this!
Have a very Happy Easter!

Maine Mom said...

Happy Easter, Dawn!

I live about an hour and a half from Augusta. If you do make it here, I will do my best to get to Augusta to meet you. What fun that would be!...Again, I wish you were visiting under different circumstances, though.

Simply Heart And Home said...


A Happy Easter to you and your dear family!


Robin in New Jersey said...

You can see the clip at youtube. There are different pictures,(some from the Passion of the Christ movie)but it's the same man's voice on each one. Our Pastor played it in church on Sunday. I had never heard it before and it got us all geared up for the sermon.

Have a good week.