Last year I become obsessed with Iceland, this was mostly brought about due to my growing enjoyment of the band Sigur Ros.
In my desire to procrastinate I travelled on a Wiki adventure of discovery about all things Iceland, from the island that appeared off the coast in the 60’s to its amazing geology. Amongst all of this I found out about a man called Hallgrímur Pétursson. I wont bore you with all the history, but in 1666 he wrote 50 hymns (poems) all about the Passion narrative. They became an instant hit and still remain well known in Iceland. I believe to this day they are still read on radio in the days approaching Easter each year.
I managed to find and buy a copy that was translated into English and was published in 1966, 300 years after its original authorship. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading a couple each morning as Easter approaches this year.
Let me share with you a couple of stanzas from the second hymn titled “Christ’s Sufferings in the Garden”
My sin, it seems, has greater weight
Than all my Lord did e’er create;
He, by the Word of His great power
Upholds creation to this hour,
Yet, bearing all my sin’s disgrace,
He sank in horror on his face.
What cofidence, what joy of heart,
These truths sublime to me impart –
The ransom paid for me was worth
More than the wealth of heaven and earth!
His depth of grief, the pains he bore,
Absolve my soul for evermore
There on His face His prayer He made,
And sought His Father’s willing aid.
“Oh take from Me this bitter cup!
– Yet at Thy word I drink it up.
Thy will, not Mine, be ever done.”
Thus to the Father spake the Son.