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I’m Not Superstitious…

November 11, 2013

I might have mentioned that for the last two years, I have been going around knocking on doors here in Milford on Sea. It’s been a most interesting exercise, and well worth it! We have come across a vast range of beliefs and opinions – would you believe that we have met no fewer than three non-Asian Buddhists? There are also a few spiritualists and a number of atheists; and once we came across a Jehovah’s Witness who was quite baffled by this role reversal!

But there’s another observation that I want to share with you this time, and it comes not from the people we’ve met but from their houses. There are very few houses in Milford with the number 13!

It took me a while to realise that it wasn’t just an oversight, or that number 13 just happened to have been demolished… and when I realised, I didn’t know whether I should laugh or cry!

Superstitions are funny, because a lot of people treat them as absolutes, almost like natural laws – even though they are actually very regional. Black cats mean good luck in England, but bad luck in Sweden; in Sweden leaving your keys on a table is unlucky; in some cultures 13 is a lucky number; in Albania the number 13 has no meaning whatsoever, but you mustn’t say nice things about a baby as that will attract the “evil eye” (it’s very weird to have friends tell you your baby is so ugly and bad, even when you know they’re meaning well…).

From a biblical point of view, there are no lucky or unlucky numbers. There are numbers with a special significance, but they are never associated with luck, bad or otherwise. There were 13 around the table at the Last supper, but that didn’t cause Jesus’ death; he would have gone to the cross with 5 or 10 or 777 disciples present.

Now, there are hostile spirit powers at loose in the world, bent on destroying us. They are clearly “unlucky” – even deadly; but superstitious practices won’t stop them. The best – actually the only – way to defeat them is to be in league with the One who is infinitely mightier than them. If evil powers are out to get me, touching wood won’t help me; calling on the name of Jesus will. I don’t need to worry about number 13 or black cats or the evil eye; I belong to Jesus, and that is the only protection I need. 

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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