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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

God's, not gods
Date Posted: April 29, 2006

In our morning message in kindergarten class we often write "Today is" . . . and fill in the day of the week. Recently in trying to spell Wednesday, the kids were reminded that it doesn't look the way it sounds.

This initiated a discussion between teachers on where the days of the week get their names. So I decided to do some research. What I found was both expected and surprising.

For instance, I knew the days were named for ancient gods. I thought most of them were Roman in origin. Wrong. Most are from Norse legends and beliefs.

Monday is named from the goddess of the moon, Selene or Luna, depending on the country of origin. Tuesday is derived from Tir or Tyr, the Norse god representing honorable war.

Wednesday (or Winsday, as the kindergartners have decided it should be spelled) comes from Woden (Odin) the chief Norse god. Thursday comes from another Norse god, Thor. He is also a god of war, perhaps not so honorable.

Friday once again represents a goddess, Frigga, Odin's wife. She was a goddess of marriage. Strange, then, that most of us get married on a Saturday, because Saturday takes its name from Saturn, not the planet, but the Roman god of agriculture.

Now, after singing the Days of the Week song for many years, I do know that Sunday comes first. I've saved it for last to make a point.

Sunday, very simply named for sun god, widely worshiped from ancient Egypt to fifth century Britannia, is what we often call "the Lord's day."

True, we do set it aside for worship of the Father and the Son, rather than the sun.
But all of these days, regardless of what we call them, are the Lord's - or they should be.

I know I rarely think about what the names of our days mean. Sure, Monday is rarely anyone's favorite, Wednesday is hump day, Friday elicits a "woo-hoo", and Sunday is church day, but what matters is that I live each day knowing it belongs to God.

The days were most likely so named because people of a certain culture wanted to honor the one they worshiped. Whether this brought them a measure of comfort or was meant as an appeasement, the intent was to show allegiance.

How comforting to know that all the days are God's, not for the gods. That our allegiance need never be divided. That we have the assurance of one Creator and Ruler, one Friend and Savior.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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