At the Lutheran Church of St. Andrew in Novosibirsk, Russia, Easter divine service was followed by a craft fair. This has become an annual event here.
The various crafts are made by members. Proceeds from sales go to the aid of a local orphanage.
Here in Russia, Lent is a serious happening. Many people fast for real and devote much time to prayer, reflection, and attending worship, especially during Holy Week, when there is a divine service each day. This sets Easter into a blinding-bright contrast. The joy of Christ’s resurrection is evident, and it spills over into this festive post-service event.
As usual, the craft-offerings were modest but well received. This is mostly a time where people greet one another, eat snacks, browse, and buy some small item at a too-high price in order to raise more money.
The highlight this year was no doubt the “craft” of music. Dmitri, a new member who is a conservatory-trained violinist working as a professional musician, and Tonya, one of the pastors’ daughters, played violin-recorder duets of Easter hymns. Then Dmitri entertained us with samples of the kind of music he performs in restaurants and stores or at banquets and parties. People were enthralled. The “hat” quickly got filled with billyeti, the tickets people had bought with real money to spend at the fair. I’ll be surprised if the music wasn’t the single biggest profit-maker.
All of this has nothing directly to do with Christ’s glorious resurrection. But it’s an irrepressible outflowing of the joy occasioned by that event. After all, the Resurrection is the decisive moment in the course of the world. By it the cross is shown to be the instrument of death to death! By it Christ is revealed to be the Son of God in power. By the Resurrection of Christ, resurrection from the grave to life on the last day is assured to all who are in Him. A blessed Eastertide to all!