The Church And The Lava – Reykjahvio, Iceland
“Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.” Will Durant
On August 27, 1729 the Krafla eruption caused a lava flow through the village of Reykjahlíð, destroying farms and buildings, but amazingly the wooden church was spared when the flow parted, missing the church by only meters.
It is believed that prayer saved the church. The church was rebuilt on its original foundation in 1876, then again in 1962.
The reality is that when disasters come, everyone is affected by it. Natural disasters do not separate the believers from the atheists.
I wrestle with God so unshakable faith is hard for me to understand. I’m also a little bit jealous of people who have that kind of faith.
The church is build on ground that is a bit higher up so that could have caused the lava to split and flow down. It has been rebuilt but the houses have not. The visual image is so compelling. My hotel is right near it and I walk around every day looking for answers.
Maybe it was the fact that the church connected this community. It was the place that brought them all together. Maybe it enabled them to move beyond their own stories and unite for the common good. Maybe that is what saved the church. What will it take to enable us to move beyond our increasing political and cultural polarities to unite around a common purpose?
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