To be on this planet is to know advances and setbacks, ups and downs, high points and low points.: Church, nation, community, family and each of us as individuals. Sometimes the setbacks and low points are very terrible, and so we look for a way to keep from going under. The survival life-method might be frivolous, foolish, wasteful or even dangerous. Sometimes creative and life-giving.
The 1960's was a very difficult time for me. The Church was spinning around in change and my own family had entered a very bad time. An evil person who had been admitted as a guide and friend brought ruin with him. I was terribly distracted, failing and lonely in school and even alienated from my siblings.
Fortunately, we were allowed to leave the school building at lunch time. And so to escape the isolation and pain of the cafeteria I would walk fifteen minutes to the local public library, bump around in the stacks for another fifteen minutes and then return to school just in time for the bell.
I remember the precise moment when flipping through the library's collection of vinyl records, Michelangelo's Pieta appeared and the title "Bach's Easter Oratorio." I didn't know Bach. I didn't know Oratorio, but I did know the image of Mary holding her dead Son on her lap after his being taken down from the cross.
So I brought the album home and listened and listened to this over the top music ~ the libretto in German: "Kommt, eilet und laufet"
Come, hurry and run, you speedy feet,
reach the cavern which conceals Jesus!
Laughter and merriment (jokes)
accompanies our hearts,
since our Savior is risen again.
So ~ in a world of chaos and darkness, too often seeming more down than up, I've found a new release/remake of the 1958 recording I discovered in the library that day and which held me together through some of the deepest and the worst. I'm pleased to offer here the instrumental introduction (sinfonia) and some Easter images for your eyes.
Maybe listen a second or third time with eyes closed. It's easier to ponder the salvation that way. Salvation not meaning, "Oh, get me to heaven" but the cry from within, "Get me out of this inner bad neighborhood, off this inner wrong road."
All of this is pure joy! Brilliant with an inner light for us. Doesn't the world need something we can call pure joy!
The complete recording: 1958 Johann Sebastian Bach "Kommt, Eilet und Laufet" BWV 249 Easter Oratorio Stuttgarter Bach-Choir, Marcel Couraud