Wednesday, November 22, 2006

2006 09 13 My thoughts on Friday the 13th

This morning I did some quickie research on Friday the 13th (ShortyBear beat me to it for the original idea but I’m following up because she sparked my interest.)

For historical reference, I found this explanation on the National Geographic website (not exactly a Christian-friendly site but, to be fair, I WAS looking for background! LOL)

“So how did Friday the 13th become such an unlucky day?

“Dossey, also a folklore historian and author of Holiday Folklore, Phobias and Fun, said fear of Friday the 13th is rooted in ancient, separate bad-luck associations with the number 13 and the day Friday. The two unlucky entities ultimately combined to make one super unlucky day.

“Dossey traces the fear of 13 to a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla, their heaven. In walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki. Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow.

“‘Balder died and the whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day,’ said Dossey. From that moment on, the number 13 has been considered ominous and foreboding.

“There is also a biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper.

“Meanwhile, in ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12. The 13th was believed to be the devil.

“Thomas Fernsler, an associate policy scientist in the Mathematics and Science Education Resource Center at the University of Delaware in Newark, said the number 13 suffers because of its position after 12.

“According to Fernsler, numerologists consider 12 a "complete" number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles of Jesus.

“In exceeding 12 by 1, Fernsler said 13's association with bad luck ‘has to do with just being a little beyond completeness. The number becomes restless or squirmy’."


So it is apparent that even Christianity is subject to superstitions (big surprise there, huh? LOL). However, I found a Christian woman’s blog where she said that she’s taught her daughter to pronounce it “stu-pid-STISH-shon” And, a previous pastor’s message kept going through my head. This pastor stood up on the Sunday prior to a Friday the 13th and did his message on superstitions and faith and how you can’t have both. He brought a ladder up on the platform and walked under it. He brought a mirror up on the platform and broke it for the entire congregation to see. He had an umbrella and opened it. Challenging all the “taboos” and the “powers that be” to rain down bad luck that was greater than our God! NOT! This sermon had such a powerful effect on Da Hubby and I that we rarely even wish someone "good luck" anymore! LOL It's not about luck, it's about the power of our God!! Yeah!

And, then I found a transcript of another pastor’s message on the web that was similar. ( ) Rev. Tim Owens said it’s a matter of a faith that conquers fear. I think that superstitions are all about fears and things out of our control. Particularly fears of the unknown: unknown forces and unknown future events. But, Rev. Owens used Psalm 27 to refute all that fear. (Psalm 27:1 unknown version) "In the face of my fear, I come first of all to rely exclusively upon God, Why? Because He is my light; He is my victory; and He is my stronghold."

Rev. Owens stated, “We see in this psalm, first of all, that faith that conquers fear is a personal faith. It's not something that just hangs out there isolated from you--not something that you hear about, not a second-hand kind of knowledge--but a first-hand knowledge and faith in God…

“When my faith encounters fear, in the face of fear I throw the Lord Almighty and I throw these three things about my God: that He is my light, who dispels darkness; He is my salvation Who rescues me from my fear; and He is my stronghold, my castle, my fortress. David says, "When I throw those three things in the face of fear, then fear fades away.” Now the implication here in verse 1 is that it is the Lord, it is God, and God only--God alone. David had discovered what everybody discovers at one time or another in life: that you cannot put your ultimate trust in anything or anybody else but God and live above the fears of life.”

Additional Scriptures I've been dwelling on today:

Matthew 10.31 (NKJV) "Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Luke 12.32 (NKJV) "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

2 Timothy 1.7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Hebrews 13.6 (NKJV) So we may boldly say: "The LORD [is] my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

Psalm 34.4 (NKJV) I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 56.4 (NKJV) In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?

As Forrest Gump would say… “I like (that). I like it a lot!” LOL So, let us go forth boldly with NO FEAR!! Praise God for His strength and His faithfulness! And, happy Friday and a wonderful weekend to all!

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