“and the divided up his clothes by casting lots” Luke 23:34
cleromancy. sound spooky? it’s the practice of casting lots to determine the will of God or gods. its a common practice throughout history. According to Tacitus the Roman historian, the Germans were especially into this. they would roll dice or runes to determine everything.
we laugh at this humorous way to figure out what God thinks. We look down on it as some sort of primitive exercise unacceptable for sophisticated civilized americans such as ourselves. We have iPhones and CNN afterall.
yet doesn’t society do this now?
The psychic business seems to be doing quite well as their advertisements regularly appear on my t.v. and web browser. Someone must be paying for that crap. Horoscopes are still printed in the newspaper.
Yes of course you don’t buy into that. You are a Christian.
You have your own unique superstitions thought don’t you?
You don’t cast lots but you look for signs. God should i take this new job? show me a sign!
should i marry this guy? show me a sign.
should i take the call to ________ lutheran Church?
should i buy that Volkswagen?
Please Lord something! give me a sign!
What is God’s Will you frantically pray! If only we could just roll the dice!
even Christians can be superstitious can’t we?
We even treat God like the roman soldiers played with Zeus. And if we aren’t looking for signs, we bargain with the gods.
Lord, I’ll stop doing this if you will give me that.
Lord I’ll start doing this if you’ll spare me from that!
The great Luther bargained before he knew better. Frightened by a Lightening storm he cried, “Lord if you spare my life I will enter the monastery.”
Sadly superstition in our civilized country is alive and well, even in our churches. It makes sense if one doesn’t know god. If one did not know His will. Many people know there is a god, but they don’t know much about him. he, she whatever is probably not happy with me. The gods probably look down on me from way up there.
maybe if I press this magic button something will pop out.
So here are these soldiers at the foot of God’s cross. They had no clue how close they were to the one to whom they so much wanted to talk to!
They cast lots to see who would benefit from Jesus death! To Whom do the gods want to give the cloak!? Whom does God love? Of whom does He approve?
They cast lots because God was unknown to them. Does the great Zeus want me to have this cloak? Whom does he favor! so they clawed in the dark – they rolled the dice.
All the while right above them was a sign of God’s will far greater than rolling the dice!
The sign read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” and below it the bloodied and beaten King cried out so that all may hear even 2000 years later – “it is finished”!
They hoped the gods would bless them through the death of this Jesus – one of them would get some clothes!
Yet God gave a sign to the world of His Will! His son on the cross! And the gift of God to those soldiers even all the world was Forgiveness, eternal life, His Son!
So that you may know that Christ’s death for your sins is yours, He doesn’t leave it to a guessing game!
He splashes you with water and says ‘in the name of the father, son and holy ghost!’ you are a child of God
He puts bread and wine in your mouth saying – take and eat, take and drink!
We don’t need to look for signs! We don’t need to roll the dice.
God speaks quite clearly to us!
in the blood of His Son.