December 26, 2006 / January 2, 2007

What Are Your Odds For 2007?
Pastor George Van Alstine

A new year, coming up big! 2007! It’s going to be a good one. How do I know? Because I always “knowâ€? 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, I’m 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 Year’s Eve a bit like whistling in the dark. At midnight, we’re all cheering and singing together, and that togetherness makes us feel more upbeat about the year’s prospects, but there’s 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, you’ve 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, “Life is a crap-shoot!â€?

Which brings me to another “sevenâ€? phrase: “Seven Come Eleven.â€? This saying has been with me all my life, but until now, I haven’t 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 “Seven Come Elevenâ€? is a pretty popular way of approaching the new year. Let’s 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, what’s 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 “Seven 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 “Seven Come Elevenâ€? for the promise of Jesus: “Seven Come Heavenâ€?! That’s not a gamble, but a promise from the Son of God.

So when you think of all the things “sevenâ€? rhymes with—eleven, Devin, leaven—make sure you emphasize the one that gives you by far the best odds, “heaven.â€? For you, 2007 may be your last year on earth, and “Seven Come Heavenâ€? can be your winning slogan.