Online Adult Sunday School. Lenten Series. Sowing Tears, Reaping Joy. Kerygma Study of Brahms German Requiem. Chapter 3

Listen to Movement 3 of Brahms’ German Requiem at
Read Psalm 39
“Show me,
Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days;
    let me know how fleeting my life is.
 . . .
    Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
    they heap up, and do not know who will gather.
But now, Lord, what do I look for?
    My hope is in you.”
Read Wisdom of Solomon 3
“But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
Elizabeth Kubler Ross wrote that the stages of dealing with death are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. After the tragic loss of his family, Gerald Sittser wrote “the quickest way to reach the sun and the light of day is not to run west, chasing the setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise.”
Many of us avoid thinking about decline and death. In Brahams’ Requiem we hear from an individual singer and then a chorus, reminding us of both the personal and the universal nature of death. The Psalmist places his hope in God, even if he later questions whether God can be trusted. The answer from Wisdom of Solomon is that God ultimately protects the righteous from torment. How does Brahms express this musically?
Have you ever “headed East” plunging into the darkness of grief to find a rising sun? How so?