What Does Friday the 13th Mean?

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It’s the thirteenth day of the month, and it’s the last weekday of the week. That means it is – cue spooky music – Friday the 13th!

It’s the thirteenth day of the month, and it’s the last weekday of the week. That means it is – cue spooky music – Friday the 13th!

Once again, the seminal “scary” day is upon us, or so I’m told. Beyond what was created by the Jason movie series, I don’t ever recall understanding all the hype about this particular day. Why is today scary and not Tuesday the 18th or Saturday the 24th? Isn’t April 15th (income tax day) scarier than Friday the 13th?

Thirteen (13) is a number like any other number. It comes between 12 and 14. It’s made up of the digits 1 and 3, which totals 4, multiplies to 3. But 13 is, for some reason, “unlucky.” There is one God and three persons in the Godhead. That’s 1 and 3, the digits of 13. So maybe 13 isn’t so unlucky? Maybe it’s actually a holy number? You think? Maybe? I didn’t think so, either. Rather, it’s just a number. So maybe it’s not the number, but something else.

Is it when 13 is combined with the final weekday that makes it unholy? But that must mean Friday is also, to some extent, unrighteous. Whether it’s the fifth of sixth day of the calendar week (depending on whether you start counting on Sunday or Monday), God was still creating on days five and six. Friday is the day preceding the weekend. It’s also the day many business go casual. High school students gather to play football on Friday. Many people are paid on Friday. And Christians worldwide remember Good Friday, recalling the day Jesus died on the cross. It seems that Friday is celebrated and adored. So maybe it’s not that bad, or bad at all. But is 13 somehow corrupting it? That can’t be since it’s just a number.

So what’s the big deal about Friday the 13th? I’m not sure. I guess it’s just another day among 28, 29, 30, or 31 . . . or 365 . . . or 366 (leap years). But there is one thing of which I’m certain: Friday the 13th is one more day to honor God and delight in his love, grace, sovereignty, and holiness.

About John L. Rothra
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