Lenten Devotional Series: Thy Dwelling Place

Fourth Movement of Johannes Brahms Requiem

by Roy Atherton
member of BHPC Choir
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Psalm 84:1-2
My personal connection with the text of the fourth movement has always been my reflection of Brahms' feeling that there will always be another dimension of life that is beyond our earthly existence. Although his expressed intent was to be mindful of the living souls who remained behind on earth, it was his intention to be mindful that the departed would be remembered as those spirits who entered the Lord's beautiful dwelling place.
Spiritually, the soaring musical phrasing and textual appeal of "...Thy dwelling place of the Lord..." compliments my sense of personal well-being in our troubled times.  The text is apropos and mindful of those who have departed.  I have been blessed by my parents and know they sought the Lord's beautiful dwelling place. Blessed are my parents who dwell in the house of the Lord.
In my own way, I also pray for forgiveness, hope and the unlimited blessings that God has bestowed upon each of us.  I will always remind each of you that there is a daily need to count your blessings. Be thankful for your blessings, large and small, and always be in the presence of the Lord - willing and able to be of assistance others.  It is well to remember those who came before us, who taught us the way and wisdom of our Lord how to be of assistance to others less fortunate and guide us through the final days of our lives into the Lord's dwelling place.