Easter, or Pascha, as it’s called in Russian, came early this year. Yet the Siberian winter weather in no way quelled the joyous note. The long-awaited exchange “Christos voskres! Voistinu voskres!” (“Christ is risen!” “He is risen indeed!”) sounded with as much vigor as ever, and was all that much more poignant because many at St. Andrew Evangelical Lutheran Church in Novosibirsk had watched with Christ every night of Holy Week.

 

 

After the service there was a craft fair, with zakuski (hors-d’oeuvres) and tea. Plus soft drinks—no Coca-Cola or Sprite, but limonad, which isn’t “lemonade” at all, but has a taste all its own, a little but not much like cream soda. No festive event in Russia would be complete without it.

And what Siberian Easter in March would be complete without the fall of new snow? A heavy load of the stuff dropped all afternoon and evening, like a wet, juicy kiss from the sky. Still, neither this, nor our poor lives, which fall so short of perfection, can put a damper on the eternal truth: Christ was “delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Rom 4:25).

A blessed Easter to all!