Hlé. Hvíld. Hvíldardagur. Stöðva. 

Pause. Rest. Sabbath. Stopping.

Islandic ways for a pilgrim priest to walk through a Sunday.

To begin the day, I walked down the hill and up one hundred steps to worship at Akureyrikirkja. It turned out that it was children’s worship today, which included much singing with dancing, leaping, and hand motions with a bevy of blond haired children. Of course all of the worship was in Icelandic, but the familiar Gospel about Sakkeus (Zaccheus) was easily understood. Joy and delight.

After a “small” dipped cone at the place reported to have the best ice cream in Iceland, my friend and I were off on a road trip to what we called the top of the world–scenic driving and stopping along Tröllaskagi.

The day included poking in and out of churches, breath-taking vistas, endless pastures polka-dotted with sheep of a variety of colors, a picnic overlooking the fjord, yarn shopping in the grocery store, and cappuccinos sipped outside overlooking a harbor.

The highlight of the day was a happenstance stop at the church in Ölafsfjarðar. The priest, Sigríður Munda Jönsdöttir, was just leaving for the day, and graciously stopped to tell us about the church. This led to wonderful conversation about their outreach ministry with children. Our time together ended with praying the Lord’s Prayer in our own language.  As Sigríður kept saying, “We are all one.”  After hugs all around and contacts exchanged, we parted with big smiles at how God had brought us together that day.

Pause. Rest. Sabbath. Stopping.

Hlé. Hvíld. Hvíldardagur. Stöðva.

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