Posts Tagged ‘New Year’s Eve’

2013: Taking a new look at “The Number 13”

January 1, 2013
The year 2013 provides an opportunity to see "The Number Thirteen" in a different light.

The year 2013 provides an opportunity to see “The Number Thirteen” in a different light.

Last night during a New Year’s Eve celebration at my church, Equip U Ministries, Columbus, Ohio, I was asked to share a poem that I had written related to “The Number Thirteen,” as we entered 2013. Earlier in 2012, I took a look at the number 13 with a different view and noted that thirteen can be a transitional number.  Although it is generally regarded as a number of rebellion and disorder, we also recognize that the number 13 occurs between 12—representing governmental order and 14—representing spiritual perfection symbolized in the number 7—established or doubled.  Apostle Eric Warren had also mentioned that the number could be seen as a transitional number in one of his earlier teachings. The essence my new perspective is expressed in the following poem:

The Number Thirteen

And so faith, hope, love abide [faith–conviction and belief

respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope–

joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation;

love–true affection for God and man, growing out of

God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest

of these is love.

 1 Corinthians 13:13

It [thirteen] occurs first in Gen 14:4, where we read “Twelve years   

they served Chedorlaomer, and the thirteenth year they REBELLED.”

Hence every occurrence of the number thirteen, and likewise  

of every multiple of it, stamps that with which it stands in connection

with rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, disintegration,

revolution, or some kindred idea.

E.W Bullinger

Number in Scripture   

Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance

God always speaks, even numbers reveal His design.

With brand new eyes I now look at the number thirteen:

What does this so-called “unlucky number” really mean?

When I seek the mind of Christ to properly align

My thoughts to conform with the Word of God, line upon line,

I no longer see rebellion or misdirection

But a symbol of transition, moving toward perfection.

The love of God no expanse on earth can ever confine,

For God removes blindness to reveal His perfect will.

Christ in you, in me, is no longer a great mystery

But shines as in a mirror for those with eyes to see

That each promise in the Word of God He will fulfill.

I must awaken from slumber and walk as the wise

To view the whole of life with newly enlightened eyes.


For the New Year’s Eve service I wore and Christmas gift from my wife, a Tommy Hilfiger “rugby shirt” with bright red and black stripes with the bold number “85” in white with white stitching on the front of the shirt. Someone later pointed out that 13 is the sum of 8, representative of a “new beginning” and 5, symbolic of “God’s grace and favor.” Conceivably, what I was wearing reinforced the message that I was speaking regarding a different view of “The Number Thirteen.”

 The Number 13 and the Concept of the Lagniappe:

As someone who loves language, as one who is said to be a “wordsmith,” I was once asked, “What is your favorite word?” After briefly considering the question, I responded “lagniappe” and smiled broadly.  The ever-present, easily accessible Merriam Webster’s online dictionary offers this definition:a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase; broadly: something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.” Generally the term refers to “a little something extra, an unexpected treat, a blessing, a delightful surprise.”

My most memorable definition of the word occurred during my first visit to New Orleans where the term is frequently heard. When my wife and I were taken out to dinner at one of the fine restaurants of renown, I said, “What a delightful lagniappe!” Our host then shared this humorous definition of the concept offered by comedian and chef Justin Wilson, who spoke with a thick Cajun accent:

“You go to the baker, and you buy one dozen ‘cookie.’ When you go home, you count the ‘cookie,’ and you got thirteen ‘cookie.’ Thirteenth ‘cookie,’ that’s lagniappe.”

Mark Twain Lagniappe Quote

Here is another instance of the number thirteen, as in a “baker’s dozen” that can be seen as  being a “good number” that brings blessings rather than one that supposedly brings “bad luck.”

In reflecting upon my favorite word, I was inspired to write the following poem which I revised for this blog entry:

Lord of the Endless Lagniappe

 You will show me the path of life;

 In Your presence is fullness of joy;

 At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

 Psalm 16:11



In His presence God reaffirms and confirms once more

That the Lord God is good and that His mercy endures.

Abundant favor and boundless blessings I explore.

The unfailing Word of God strengthens and reassures:

A bountiful table is daily set before me,

Each so custom designed and prepared with me in mind,

Each a unique savory foretaste of eternity.

As I seek to do His will, I know that I shall find

The strength to lead and faith to follow the Lord each day.

The God of all comfort ever surrounds and upholds

Me in peace by the strength of His right hand, as I pray.

Unspeakable joy floods my soul, as glory unfolds.

God releases what the enemy seeks to entrap:

So gracious and kind, the Lord of the endless lagniappe.

May this New Year of 2013 overflow with the goodness of God, “The Lord of the Endless Lagniappe, ” for He alone is able to make all grace abound toward us that we always, having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work.