December 26, 2006 / January 2, 2007
What Are Your Odds For 2007?
Pastor George Van Alstine
A new year, coming up big! 2007! Itâs going to be a good one. How do I know? Because I always âknowâ? the new year will be better than the old one. That is, I believe it will be. Or rather, I hope it will be. Maybe I should say, Iâm down on my knees begging it will be.
The fact is I have only limited control over what the year ahead will bring to my life, and that makes the celebrative optimism of New Yearâs Eve a bit like whistling in the dark. At midnight, weâre all cheering and singing together, and that togetherness makes us feel more upbeat about the yearâs prospects, but thereâs still that lingering doubt.
Of course, this time the new year is 2007, and everyone knows that seven is the luckiest number. Just think of these significant facts:
â? There are seven days in a week.
â? There are seven notes in a (Western) musical scale.
â? There were seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
â? According to Islam, there are seven heavens.
â? In Judaism, every seventh year is a sabbatical year to rest the land.
â? The Apostle John wrote to the seven churches of Asia.
â? James Bond is Agent 007.
â? If people are asked to choose a number from one to ten, seven is the number most often selected.
â? There are seven black spots on the back of a ladybug.
So, youâve got to believe the year 2007 will bring nothing but good.
Of course, there are other sevens that tell a different story, like the Seven Deadly Sins, and the Seven Seals of Judgment in the Book of Revelation. Even though we want to emphasize the positive symbolism of the number seven, the truth is it brings no guarantees. You could say, as some Las Vegas cynic might, âLife is a crap-shoot!â?
Which brings me to another âsevenâ? phrase: âSeven Come Eleven.â? This saying has been with me all my life, but until now, I havenât thought about where it comes from. I consulted with my Las Vegas gambling expert, and he informed me that this is a phrase a craps player might use as a wish (almost a prayer) expressed just before rolling the dice. Seven and eleven are the two luckiest numbers, and either would mean an instant payoff. So âSeven Come Elevenâ? is a pretty popular way of approaching the new year. Letâs throw the dice and hope for the best!
But for some of us, 2007 might bring serious problems, business reversals, relationship conflicts, health issues. Okay, whatâs the worst that can happen? Death! For some of us, 2007 may be the year when THE END is written on the last page of our life.
Is âSeven Come Elevenâ? any comfort in the face of this reality? Fortunately, we who have a living faith in God have something better. We can exchange the crap shoot âSeven Come Elevenâ? for the promise of Jesus: âSeven Come Heavenâ?! Thatâs not a gamble, but a promise from the Son of God.
So when you think of all the things âsevenâ? rhymes withâeleven, Devin, leavenâmake sure you emphasize the one that gives you by far the best odds, âheaven.â? For you, 2007 may be your last year on earth, and âSeven Come Heavenâ? can be your winning slogan.