This April on Sue’s Trifles the theme is the names of God. There may be more than one name for some of the letters. There may be others I have omitted. I hope that by going through the alphabet together we may learn more about the nature of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Deus is the Latin word for God. From it we have the English “deity”. This is rather a vague word applied to any god. For a long time God was worshipped in Latin. There are names and other Latin phrases in books used in some churches. For example, there is a part of the communion service (or mass) known as the Agnus Dei. Agnus means lamb and Dei is the genitive case of the noun Deus. Thus Agnus Dei means Lamb of God.
Defender or Defence is a name or description of God. In the King James (or authorised) version of the Bible there are many references in the Psalms to God being the Defence. In other books of the Old Testament “will defend” occurs or there is a prayer to God “to defend”. Other ways defence is translated in more recent versions include “Fortress”. Thus God is seen to be a safe place, where his people are defended from their enemies.
Daystar is a word used in the second of Peter’s letters (KJV) 2 Peter 1:19-21 If I am reading it correctly it refers to the Holy Spirit. In the New International Version (NIV) the word is morning star.
Dayspring is used in the Old and New Testaments. Job 38:12 and Luke 1:78. This is not a word in current use. In Job the idea is that God is the cause of the sun rising each morning. (Of course the sun is stationary compared to the earth, but God either holds everything in its rightful place or has set everything in motion, depending on your point of view) Luke is quoting the words of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. Again modern translators refer to the rising sun.
David’s son (or Son of David) is a name of Jesus of Nazareth. He was descended from King David, who wrote many of the Psalms in the Old Testament. There are prophecies in the Psalms that King David would have a greater son, whose kingdom would last for ever. Psalm 110:1 is an example.
Further reading: The story of the birth of John the Baptist (many people prefer the description Baptiser) can be found in Luke Chapters 1 and 2. It is closely linked to the story of the birth of Jesus.
A prayer from the service of Evening Prayer (Book of Common Prayer)
Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord;
and by thy great mercy defend us from all the perils and dangers of this night;
for the love of your only son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
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