Living for the Right Things on Woden’s Day


Wednesday is known as “hump day” in our culture. It is the middle day of the week. It is also the day we feel the “grind” of work and toil – especially augmented by a culture that drives us to work harder so that we can earn more to pay off our uber-materialistic lifestyle. As the song parody goes, “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go.” And we really feel it on “hump day.”

Perhaps it’s no accident that Wednesday is named after “Woden.” Woden is the pagan god who is the Germanic equivalent of the Roman god, Mercury (“Miercoles” is Spanish for Wednesday – the day of Mercury). Mercury, among other things was the god who oversaw commerce, trade (his name is also where we get the word, “merchant”), and wealth. It is also interesting to note that Mercury was known for escorting people to Hades (death, underworld). I’m reminded of Jesus’ statement, “What profit a man if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul?” (Mark 8:36). In the Orthodox tradition, the Wednesday of Holy week is designated by Judas’ betrayal of Jesus for … 20 pieces of silver. Interesting.

As well, preoccupation with wealth and work is one of the main things that cause people to forget about God. Is there any wonder why Wednesday is one of the hardest days to keep spiritual focus? I believe that is one of the reasons why traditional churches have Wednesday services or Bible Studies. It is also interesting that Lent, the season of repentance, begins on a Woden’s-day (Ash Wednesday).

As Whole Life Worshipers of God, we choose to worship God every day. We are called to “serve God, not money” (Matt 6:24). So here are a couple of ideas we can walk in the opposite spirit, transforming Woden’s-day or Mercury’s-day into Christ’s-day:

1. Spend some time doing a “heart check” and an “eye examination.”  Jesus said, “Wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart is” and “The eye is a lamp … If your eyes are bad, your whole body will be filled with darkness” (Matt 6:20-23). So let’s check our hearts: What do we really treasure? Is Christ the “pearl of great cost” to us? What is competing for our hearts? And let’s check our eyes: What are we choosing to gaze at? Do we spend too much time browsing through shopper magazines, email offers, or looking up specs on the latest gizmo that we have to have?

2. Take time to turn our hearts back to God. If we do #1, then this step is the necessary follow through. One of the most under-utilized spiritual disciplines (but one we so desperately need) is repentance. It seems like we only repent when we know we’ve done something wrong (and it usually has to be really “baaaad”). But repentance is simply “making the turn back to God.” It is a discipline we need to regularly exercise because we get knocked off course all the time. Why wait until Ash Wednesday to turn our hearts to God? Make every Wednesday (maybe every day) an opportunity to repent and to correct our course back on Jesus.

 3. Be generous today. Instead of our wealth using us, let’s use our wealth for good. Take someone you want to bless out to lunch. Contribute to a worthy cause. Write out your tithe check to your church on Wednesday (and maybe give a little bit more). Or be generous with your time or your encouragement. We are not created to serve wealth – and it’s a horrible, enslaving master. We are created to serve God – and one of the best ways we can do that is to serve others.

I believe that if we choose to be Whole Life Worshipers of the Lord on a day that represents worshiping material wealth, it will transform our “hump day” into “jump day” – both leaping for joy in Christ and jumping forward in bringing His light to our lost world.

2 thoughts on “Living for the Right Things on Woden’s Day

  1. I’m loving this week’s look at the origins of our days – thanks for the special reminder that each one has been to keep each day as “the Lord’s day.”

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