Every Easter morning in my hometown, a small band of musicians wanders from church to church and plays for each congregation, giving their small gift to the community and to God. They bear their gifts of brass – trumpets, French horns, trombones, and tubas – playing just one song, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.”
I’ve heard this group play this song whenever I’ve been in Salida for Easter since 1992, when, at the age of 13, I arrived with my family. As a youth I found the song to be a rather rote affair as it had been a staple in my life since birth and was always accompanied by a piano or organ. But when I first heard the Salida Brass open up the song that year, I was hooked. They play a great fanfare to start the song, and it grabs the attention of everyone in attendance. They don’t just play that opening, they pronounce that fanfare – trumpets and horns and trombones all blasting their notes in full, open, resounding tones in a joyous, loud chorus.
It’s a moment that rattles one’s gut and pierces the ears, but in an utterly good way. It’s shocking, eye-opening, and one can do nothing but pay attention. And the congregants, standing in as the choir, join in shortly afterward, singing those sweet words, “Christ the Lord is risen today…” We sing of a moment that occurred nearly 2000 years ago, using the words from a song written nearly 300 years ago, and yet, those words still ring true to this very day for so many of us who sing.
We don’t sing in the past tense, “Christ the Lord was risen that day…”, no, we sing that He is risen today. On this day, and every day, we sing those words that Jesus is risen, is alive, is present in our lives. We should welcome Christ every day with such great a fanfare, shouting to our friends and family, proclaiming to the rocks and trees, rivers and fields that Christ is risen. Is. Is. Is. And will be forever.
Happiest of Easters, my friends.
much love. sheth.