The Easter Season is always a time of year where I reflect on things in my own life. We all have our ups and our downs and go through some rough black Fridays. So with that thought in mind, I am on to repeating a story I have shared before.
One of my favorite “Christian” authors, Tony Campolo wrote a fantastic book titled, You Can Make A Difference. It is one of my favorites about young Christians making a difference in the world that we live in. It’s really about putting feet to faith. If you have not read it, do, it is a classic.
Anyhow Tony has a great story in the book about preaching a Good Friday message with six other ministers in the “black” church he attends in Philadelphia. He always raves about attending these churches since they just don’t sit back on their hands. Campolo’s story clearly is Christian themed but I think there is a whole lot more to it than just a Good Friday story. For me it is about the darkest of days that we go through, where there seems to be no hope but believing that our lot is about to improve. We all have our blackest of Fridays but can we keep a moving forward knowing that the sunshine will return? In those darkest times, our “Black Fridays” we can believe that there is hope on the horizon as a “Sunday” is a coming. I know it serves me a well. Just remember it was only Friday, but Sunday’s a comin”!
One Good Friday there were seven of us preaching back to back, each us trying to outdo the others. When it was my time to preach, I rolled into high gear, and I want to tell you, I was good. The more I preached, the more the people in that congregation “turned on,” and the more they “turned on,” the better I got. I got better and better and better. I got so good that I wanted to take notes on me! At the end of my message, the congregation broke loose. I was absolutely thrilled to hear the hallelujahs and the cries of joy that broke loose throughout the place. I sat down next to my pastor and he looked at me with a smile. He reached down with his hand and squeezed my knee. “You did all right, boy! he said.
I turned to him and asked, “Pastor, are you going to be able to top that?”
The old man smiled at me and he said, “Son you just sit back, ’cause this old man is going to do you in!”
I didn’t figure that anybody could surpass me that day. I had been so good….But the old guy got up, and I have to admit, he did me in. The amazing thing was that he did it with the use of one line. For an hour and a half he stood that crowd on its ear with just one line. That line was “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’!” That statement may not blow you away, but you should have heard him do it. He started his sermon real softly by saying, “It was Friday.
It was Friday, and my Jesus was dead on the tree. But that was Friday, and Sunday’s comin’!”
One of the deacons yelled, “Preach, brother! Preach!” It was all the encouragement that he needed. He came on louder as he said, “It was Friday, and Mary was cryin’ her eyes out. The disciples were runnin’ in every direction like sheep without a shepherd, but that was Friday and Sunday’s comin’!” People in the congregation were beginning to pick up the message. Women were waving their hands and calling softly, “Well, well.” Some of the men were yelling, “Keep going! Keep going!”
The preacher kept going. He picked up the volume still more and more shouted, “It was Friday. The cynics were lookin’ at the world and sayin’, ‘as things have been so they shall be. You can’t change anything in this world, you can’t change anything. “But those cynics didn’t know that it was only Friday, Sunday’s comin”!
“It was Friday! And on Friday, those forces that oppress the poor and make the poor to suffer were in control. But that was Friday! Sunday’s comin’!
“It was Friday, and on Friday Pilate thought he had washed his hands of a lot of trouble. The Pharisees were struttin’ around, laughin’ and pokin’ each other in the ribs. They thought they were back in charge of things, but they didn’t know that it was only Friday! Sunday’s comin!”
He kept on working that one phrase for a half-hour, then an hour, then an hour and a quarter, then an hour and a half. Over and over he came at us, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’! It’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’! It’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’!
By the time he had come to the end of the message, I was exhausted. He had me and everybody else so worked up that I don’t think any of us could have stood it much longer. At the end of his message he just yelled at the top of his lungs, “IT’S FRIDAY!” and all five hundred of us in church yelled back with one accord, “SUNDAY’S COMIN’!“ (Compolo, 1984, You Can Make A Difference)
In our own lives it may be Friday but I believe that Sunday’s a comin’.
On that same theme, here is a new song from my favorite band Third Day “Soul On Fire.” By the way you do know that Third Day got their name from the Resurrection Story from rising up from the dead. You see it was Friday and Sunday came, it was the Third Day.
Lord, restore the joy I had
I have wandered bring me back
In this darkness, lead me through
Until all I see is You
Brenton Brown, Mac Powell, Tai Anderson, Mark Lee, David Carr, Matt Maher