It was May Day, 1990. The place was Moscow’s Red Square.

“Is it straight, Father?” One Orthodox priest asked another, shifting the heavy, eight foot crucifix to his shoulder.

“Yes,” answered the other. “It is straight.” Together the two priests, along with a group of parishioners holding ropes that steadied the beams of the huge cross, walked the parade route.

Before them had passed the official might of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: the usual May Day procession of tanks, missiles, troops and salutes to the Communist party elite. Behind the tanks surged a giant crowd of protesters, shouting up at Mikhail Gorbachev. “Bread! Freedom! Truth!”

As the throng passed directly in front of the Soviet leader standing at his place of honor, the priests hoisted their heavy burden toward the sky. The cross emerged from the crowd. As it did, the figure of Jesus Christ obscured the giant poster faces of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin that provided the backdrop for Gorbachev’s reviewing stand.

“Mikhail Gorbachev!” one of the priest shouted, his deep voice booming even over the clamor of the protests and straight toward the angry Soviet leader. “Mikhail Gorbachev! Christ is risen!”

In a matter of months after that final May Day celebration, the Soviet Union was officially dissolved. Christ is risen indeed and is building His church, “. . . and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (adapted from The Body, by Charles Colson)

Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.