Founder's Thoughts

Maundy Thursday revisited


By Melanie Tierce-Slay, Jordan Rife, Josh Lavender, Andrea C. Hunter

Verse 1
When everything is wrong 
And I want to make it right 
When it seems injustice has the final word 
When I want to run away 
Or take up my sword to fight 
'Cause I can't just sit and watch 
The way this hurts

I see my Savior bound by accusers 
Blessing the hands that take His life 
I hear Him saying 
"Father forgive them" 
Showing the world what love is like 
Can you hear Him say 
"Put your weapons away 
And follow Me?"

Verse 2
Faith will be my sight 
I'll fall on my knees to rise 
Until Your Kingdom comes in all the earth 
And the darkness of the tomb 
Meets the brilliance of Your light 
Yours will always be 
The final Word

We lift our eyes above 
We don't battle flesh and blood 
We lift our eyes above 
We don't battle flesh and blood 
We lift our eyes above 
We don't battle flesh and blood 
We lift our eyes above…

I’ve shared this song before, and as we’re entering the season of Lent and soon we’ll be once again at the point when I first posted this blog, I wanted to revisit it and add that one new version of this song just released on Melanie Tierce-Slay’s debut solo album City of God I and another will be coming out in May from the Wesleyan Worship Project. Neither should be missed. Each version captures the beauty and power of the song in different ways. (Melanie Tierce-Slay’s entire album is deeply moving and a great resource for worship leaders and congregations.)

I feel the message of this song cannot be expressed too many times. It merges Maundy Thursday with Good Friday. Not the usual focus of Christ washing the disciples feet or breaking bread and wine symbolizing His crucifixion and our ongoing commemoration in communion till He comes again, or of His agonizing solitary prayer.

Most of the story and dialogue takes place in the garden of Gethsemane from Peter’s perspective, as Judas and the Temple guards come to take Jesus to his trial by the Sanhedrin. The lyric also echoes Jesus’ words from the Cross, “Father forgive them…” and foreshadows His resurrection. In the context of the song, the resurrection has not taken place, and we who wait for the fullness of His Kingdom to be revealed on earth join with Peter in both sorrow and expectation.

John 18:10-11
10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
Luke 22:47-51
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

A Word for our times and for Maundy Thursday
The song is available on the “Hope Is Stirring” album from the Awaken Worship Collective.