Early in my ministry I was introduced to a wonderful piece of rhetoric – almost poetic in nature – entitled: It’s Friday… but Sunday’s Coming.I was first introduced to It’s Friday… but Sunday’s Coming… by my Aunt Marlene, who “gifted me” (literally) with these words in the form of a beautiful plaque displaying a sunrise over a stone-rolled-away-empty- tomb of that first Easter Morning. Written on that plaque, small and in the corner, was the alleged author of words: It’s Friday… but Sunday’s Coming, Tony Campolo. Tony Campolo, a great preacher, teacher, author, evangelist and social activist is widely and popularly known for a sermon he preached with that same title: “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming… (Go on to You Tube and check it out for yourself!) But as much as Tony Campolo has moved millions with his sermon: “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming! he wasn’t the first to coin this phrase in wonderful preachment, that distinction actually goes to the great African-American Preacher, S.M. Lockridge (1913-2000) who no doubt influenced Tony Campolo with his great preaching. What’s my point? Simply this, that the great witness, preaching and promise of the resurrection has been handed down from generation to generation through many different voices, disciples who have left the empty tomb with many different trials somewhere between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. And I too have ended many an Easter Sunday Sermon with the words – “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming!” But with whom do I ultimately give credit? Tony Campolo? S.M. Lockridge? Yes, by all means. But I would also like to include my Aunt Marlene, who gave me that plaque while she was in the final stages of terminal cancer, and who died but a few weeks after; a woman of no less courage than the first women who came to the empty tomb, and who lived her own version of “It’s Friday… but Sunday’s Coming!” But ultimately I think the full credit will go to… well, you know where the credit belongs!It’s Friday Jesus was nailed to the cross… but Sunday’s Coming.—— It’s Friday Mary’s crying her eyes out cause her baby Jesus is dead… but Sunday’s Coming. —— It’s Friday the disciples are running in every direction like sheep without a shepherd… but Sunday’s Coming. —— It’s Friday Pilate’s strutting around washing he hands cause he thinks he’s got all the power… but Sunday’s Coming. —– It’s Friday Satan’s doing a little jig saying, “I control the whole world”… but Sunday’s Coming. —– It’s Friday The temple veil ripped from top to bottom – the earth shook – the rocks split and tombs opened, the Centurion screamed in fear, “Truly he was the Son of God!”… but Sunday’s Coming. It’s Sunday – the angel, like dazzling lightening rolled the stone away exclaiming: He is not here! He is risen!
It’s Sunday! It’s Sunday! It’s Sunday! Pastor Kevin
“Alleluia, He Has Risen…” It’s Time to Thrive; and not just Survive!
As I look back on over two years of Pastor’s Voice articles that I have written to you. And as we approach an Easter Sunday where for the first time in two years our “Alleluias” will be shouted in cooperate in-person worship. I wonder what it might be like for some future church member who will be tasked with writing our church’s history during this time?
Our Savior’s will be celebrating her 150 Anniversary come 2053, and whoever does the research in writing our church history will see that we had to weather and adjust to a world wide pandemic in flexible and productive ways; that we learned how to broadcast and live stream our worship services; socially distance our bodies, while joining our souls; and to celebrate the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion in a manner of receiving life without spreading a potentially deadly virus.
In short, we hope and pray that the descendants of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church will see that we not only survived, but that we also thrived, and that our church’s mission and ministry was even stronger in a Post-COVID world.
My dear friends, for a little over two years we have learned new habits of watching on computer screens as we worshipped in our living rooms, giving on line, and communing ourselves with self contained communion kits. These new ways of worshipping, and “doing church”, have served us well through the pandemic, and they will continue to be a helpful brace to our mission and ministry.
But while we have adjusted well with new habits during the pandemic, what might the vibrancy of our church look like as we now safely gather for worship as we did before COVID? We wait for this part of our church’s history to be written!
It’s almost embarrassing to admit it, but as we continue to emerge from the COVID bunker, and see each other face-to-face on Sunday morning worship, we need to retrain ourselves in the commitments we once took for granted: ushers and greeters to welcome us and collect the offering, communion assistants who handle our Lord’s promised presence, lectors who take turns reading God’s Word, coffee servers who take turns with coffee fellowship after worship, not to mention a complete re-set in our Sunday School and other educational opportunities.
In the weeks ahead, as we gather to celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection, we continue to look forward to worship practices more familiar to us, and our thanks to the following leaders at Our Savior’s for making this happen.
Our thanks to Patty Sterle who has graciously volunteered in the organizing and scheduling of our ushers, our thanks to Mary Hemmersbaugh who has graciously volunteered in organizing and scheduling our lectors, our thanks to Carl Sandness who has graciously volunteered in organizing and scheduling our communion assistants, and our thanks to Elaine Anderson who will be organizing and scheduling our coffee fellowship. If called upon to assist and serve in these capacities, please prayerfully consider doing so!
God bless and be well! Pastor Kevin