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July 24, 2018

Counting On God

Written by: Julia Smolucha


By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Numbers matter: 24/7 probably means something to you, as does 360. When you check into your hotel, maybe you don’t want to be on the 13th floor. If you are assigned a number at a conference, you might balk at being number 666. Maybe you know what I mean if I ask, “What’s your 20?” or “Can you 86 that?” From National Pi(e) Day on March 14 to Star Wars Day on May 4, numbers slip symbolically into our cultural lingo in ways that are obvious and ways that are not.

Spiritually speaking, numbers matter, too: the Psalmists envision God as the one who numbers the stars and counts the hairs on our head. The Priestly writers envision God as the one who creates the world in six days and rests on the seventh, giving us the weekly rhythm of work and sabbath. The Israelites order their communities into twelve tribes, and Jesus gathers up twelve disciples. Noah was on the ark for forty days and forty nights, and Jesus was in the desert for the same length of time. As Christians, we count on God—we await and hope for and look to and trust in the Lord—and yet, there’s another kind of counting going on just under the surface. One, three, five, seven, twelve, forty, fifty: what do the numbers mean in the Bible? Where do they come from and what gift might they give us? We’ll think about these questions together on Sunday mornings for the next 7 weeks. See you there.

Counting On God:

ONE July 29 Bill Evertsberg
THREE August 5 Jo Forrest
FIVE August 12 Jo Forrest
SEVEN August 19 Katie Lancaster
TWELVE August 26 Katie Lancaster
FORTY September 2 Bill Evertsberg
FIFTY September 9 Katie Lancaster