Friday 13th Reflection
by Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins
There is apparently no written evidence for a Friday 13th superstition before the 19th century.
Friday 13th may have developed its bad reputation by two older traditions, Friday being an unlucky day and 13 being an unlucky number, getting mixed together.
Friday has been associated with back luck because it was the day of Jesus’ execution. Stock market crashes and various disasters have also happened on Friday (but of course, difficult occurrences have happened on every day of the week as well).
13 may have been considered unlucky because 12 was considered good. 12 was the number that
suggested completeness/wholeness/perfection. We see 12 being used to suggest goodness or completion by there being 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles, 12 Olympian gods, 12 hours on the clock, 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, etc. Additionally, in numerology, when there is a double digit number, one adds the two digits together to come up with a single digit. When we add 1 + 2, we get 3 which ancient Greeks thought was a divine number representing completeness (beginning, middle, and end).
So, if 12 was the number of completion, then the number beyond 12 would disrupt the completion/perfection that 12 represented. Of course the number beyond perfection couldn’t be good (or so the reasoning may have gone)!
Now all this symbolism is fun and can probably be used toward positive ends, but in Reality, there are no unlucky numbers and no unlucky days. The Greek poet Epimenides believed that we were always “in God” and in Acts 17.28, Luke shows us St. Paul quoting that very belief. God, representing ultimate and infinite goodness, could not contain bad luck. Choices have consequences, and habits are bound to yield results (good habits, good results; bad habits, well, you get it…), so we do experience back “luck” from time to time, but we need not blame it on the calendar.
When we add 1+3 we get 4, which is the number of our gospels (“Good News”), which when multiplied by 3 gives us 12 (see above), which represented the four “corners” of the earth when the earth was thought to be flat (and therefore, 4 would have suggested wholeness and completion!). And Friday is when the fun or restful weekend begins for most people. Furthermore, May 13, 2011 reduces to 13 (so if we decide that 13 is lucky, then today is extra lucky!). Also, today is the only Friday 13th in this entire year (how special is that?!).
On this Friday 13th, let’s seize control of our destinies by making this one of the best days we’ve experienced in a long time!
Let’s spend today counting our blessings.
Let’s spend today expressing hope.
Let’s spend today recognizing what is beautiful in our lives.
Let’s spend today choosing to be generous.
Let’s spend today repeating this affirmation: “I Am blessed!”
I wish you a very happy Friday 13th! And if you are in the Ft. Lauderdale area on Sunday, May 15th, I hope to see you at Sunshine Cathedral.