Christ is Risen. Christ is Risen Indeed – Rush B

For the second year in a row I have lived without an Easter service. For our past two trips Easter has either been on a travel day or our Easter does not line up with the Russian Orthodox church.

Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed.

This year our theme has been “The Risen Christ” during all of our pre-trip meetings and during the trip itself.  We arrived in Kirov (the last stop on the train where we eat and then head to Slobodskoy) and went to church which was being led in old Russian, which even our translators could not understand.
You might be thinking I have missed out on Easter these last two years and if you’re talking about pastels and big hats you would be correct. The Easter dress has changed to fur hats and warm boots but that has not changed the reality of the risen Christ.
See Easter is not a day, it’s not a moment. It’s not one event that happened thousands of years ago…it’s our reality every day. Christ has risen. Christ has risen indeed.
On my third trip here to Slobodskoy I know this more than ever. The risen Christ dwells here just like the risen Christ dwells in our sunrise services (which is what I have missed the most).  These trips have become like our Easter services, routine.  But Christ has not been lost in that repeated reality, it has been heightened. For those of us who have been on many trips now these traditions have become comfortable, familiar even spiritual (Craig just blogged the other day about how this trip prepares you for the unexpected which he told me is a spiritual practice for him).  The more I see these students, my friends, the more I see Christ in their eyes.
This spring a local journalist has been filming us for a local news piece and we have had to explain our purpose here. She has forced us to re-think our relationship with Russia and these students. And after a lot of interviews we have been reminded of why we came in the first place. Because of that risen Christ.
We are no longer defined by our sin, by who we were. We must see each other with the eyes of the resurrection. With the eyes of new life. With the eyes of hope, love and see each other through the eyes of Christ.
And so we have come once more to a far away land. Spending days in travel to visit those that others will not drive ten minutes to see. We have not preached, converted or baptized… but we have loved. God has called us to this love and who could turn down the risen Christ no matter what the request?
I would give up any Easter service to come here again and see these faces of love, the faces that have revealed the love of our risen Christ to us over and over again.
Christ is risen.  Christ is risen indeed.

One thought on “Christ is Risen. Christ is Risen Indeed – Rush B

  1. Thank you, Rush! Please tell our new child, Marina, that we love her and hope she is having fun with you!

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