sports blog by andy shenk

Easter Morning

In Musings on April 8, 2012 at 10:29 AM

My wife and I celebrated Easter this morning by attending our church’s sunrise service. The day began with our alarm clocks ringing at 5:20 AM. I jumped out of bed to silence the hideously loud ringing coming from my cell phone, which lay on the floor by the dresser. Darkness engulfed the apartment; the sun’s rising still an hour and a half distant. In the cold we quickly dressed and prepared to set off on bike for the church.

I stepped out the back door on my way to the garage and noticed the neighbor cat, Henry, sitting patiently on the deck for me. He drops by frequently, looking for a scratch or two on his belly and chin. I wonder if he heard our alarm go off this morning, or if he simply hung around our back door all night, hoping for a chance to receive our affections. Henry’s great charm lies in his plumpish, ample girth. Whenever we notice him across the yard, we call out and enjoy watching him saunter lazily through the grass, belly swaying slightly from side to side. This morning I picked him up for a few moments to scratch and rub vigorously before setting him down again to go bring out our two bikes from the garage.

I went back inside and, knowing we had a few minutes to spare, turned on the computer to check sports news. I wanted the computer ready, too, in order to watch the VTB League quarterfinal game between Lokomotiv Kuban and Zalgiris when we returned from the sunrise service and breakfast.

A little before six Nikki and I took off. Our bike lights flashing, we rolled down the St. Olaf hill into downtown Northfield, made a right on Division Street, and biked six blocks to Main Street Moravian Church. Daylight began to grow as our cozy fellowship of twenty gathered in the Moravian sanctuary to sing and read liturgy together of the Lord’s resurrection in Palestine two thousand years ago.

The second half of our service was held at Oakridge Cemetery, at the grave of our most recently deceased member. Again joining in song and reading, we made a small circle about the cross marking Ed’s resting place. The full moon slowly drifted below the trees in the west, while red swelled from the eastern sky. After the service concluded Nikki and I walked a bit, placing flowers on tombstones nearby. Some blades of grass were flecked by frost, soon to vanish under the sun’s warmth. The fleet of five sedans parked neatly on the cemetery road caught my attention; their sleek forms merged with the crisp outlines of the trees and tidy rows of gravestones.

Still awaiting the sun, we rode back to church for breakfast. The warmth of the church basement cheered me and Nikki and I languidly engaged in small talk with others while enjoying blueberry pancakes, ham, and sausage. A little before eight we biked back home in the sunlight. Nikki repeated the Russian Easter greeting to me, “Khristos Voskrese!”, while I laughed back  with “Va Istiny Voskrese!”

Lokomotiv Kuban leads Zalgiris 66-41 with only 2 minutes to play. Now we’re off to church again for the 10 AM service. He is risen, indeed!

  1. That is probably my favorite part of Easter service the call and response. Christ has risen!…..He is risen, indeed.

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