taking the words of Jesus seriously

Once a year in our church, we have a preach off. Folks, for the most part, don’t even know what that is. That’s when you get about five, six, seven preachers and you preach back to back to see who’s best. You say that it’s for the glory of God. But we know what it’s about. When it was my turn I walked up to the pulpit and began to preach it!

And I don’t want to brag, I really don’t but I was good. I mean I know I was good because the deacons were yelling, “Preach!” And the women were going, “Praise the Lord!.” And men were standing up and yelling, “Keep going, keep going, keep going.” And I feed on that stuff.

The more they did it, the better I got. The better I got, the more they did it. I kept getting better and better and better. I got so good, I wanted to take notes on me. When I finished, that place went ballistic, it went wild. I sat down, my pastor hit my knee, and said, “you did all right. You did all right.”

I said, “You’re next pastor. Are you going to be able to top that?”

He said, “Son, sit back, because the old man is going to do you in. “I don’t want to brag, but I was so hot that day, I didn’t think that anybody could do me in. But that sucker got up, and for the next hour, he did me in. He did me in with one line over and over again: “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.” It doesn’t sound like much, but you weren’t there.

He started nice and soft with, “It was Friday. It was Friday and my Jesus was dead on the cross, but that’s because it was Friday. Sunday’s coming.”

Somebody yelled, “Keep going, keep going.”

That’s all he needed. He took off. “Friday. Friday people are saying you can’t change things in this world, but they didn’t know it was only Friday. Sunday’s coming. ”

“It’s Friday and they’re saying a bunch of ordinary people cannot impact the community, cannot change things in the world, but I’m here to give you the good news; it’s only Friday. Sunday’s coming!”

He went on like that for an hour. By the time he was finished, I was exhausted. He just yelled at the top of his lungs, “Friday!”

Without hesitation, that whole congregation yelled back, “Sunday’s coming!” People of God, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. You can have it all, and all you have to do is say the Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Enter into my life. Christ, I not only believe in you, I’m not only going to be a believer, I’m going to be a disciple. I’m going to be filled with your presence, used by you to bring hope and faith to the rest of the world and then the world will get the Good News.

Are you ready? Are you ready?

The Good News is, it’s Friday, but… SUNDAY’S COMING!

About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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