Foolhardy faith

Psalm 66:7-18
John 14:15-21
Acts 17:22-31
1 Peter 3:13-22

Just where Lenin Avenue makes a turn, coming out of downtown Moscow and heading out toward the southwest suburbs, stands St. Nicholas's Church.

The first sight of St. Nicholas's is like a friendly ambush by a clown jumping out to surprise you, all dressed up in orange and green and white. Against the gray and tan background of apartment blocks and walled courtyards no one can miss it. It seems ready for a party, its small onion domes golden sparklers, its tepee-shaped tower a big candle.

Some years ago I turned off the busy avenue, parked and, with my camera around my neck, walked to the gate of the St. Nicholas compound. It was midmorning and there were a few women and an old bearded man sitting on benches inside the compound wall. A couple of women were sweeping, bent over, with short straw brooms.


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