Song Stories: Right Hand of the Father

I'll be posting a new song story each day leading up to the release of our new CD "Wide Awake." For more information about our music or our ministry please visit our website:

I believe the basic verse lyric and melody for this song started in my office at home; however, the chorus came to me one day while running at Miner's Ravine - a beautiful trail in Roseville for running, biking, and walking. I remember coming down a particular hill and rounding a corner to head towards the trail terminus at Sierra College Boulevard as the melody and lyric for the chorus hit me, "Open up the heavens let us see..." I was working on that in my head the whole second half of the run!

This song was readily embraced by our congregation and is right up there with "Wide Awake" as one of my favorites on this project. One thing I love about this song is the reference to Stephen, the first Christian martyr whose story is recorded in Acts 7. I remember asking Allison if this reference worked. I wasn't sure if it was too specific...she loved it and we both agreed to keep it. I'm so glad we did. It lends itself to a great lyrical teaching moment during worship - in much the same way that certain obscure or "odd" sounding hymn lyrics become powerful when their meaning is revealed.

But this lyric took on even more significance during the month of March at our church. I had chosen this song as a part of our worship one weekend not knowing that a young adult would lose his life during a tragic skiing accident...his name was Stephen. We were singing it at our Saturday night service and as we were finishing it Allison pointed to the line "like Stephen to behold you with our eyes." It didn't hit either of us until that moment. On Sunday morning, after we sang it, I told the congregation that this line was originally referencing the first Christian martyr, but that now it has taken on added meaning, referencing one of our own sons in Christ who is truly beholding the Lord with his own eyes. I think singing this song that weekend was cathartic for our congregation. The family wanted Allison and I to sing this song at Stephen's memorial service.

Right Hand of the Father
Paxson Jeancake

At the right hand of the Father sits the risen, ascended Son
In returning he is bearing scars of grace and scars of love

Open up the heavens, let us see just a glimpse of holy majesty
Like Stephen, to behold you with our eyes
Risen one, ascended Lord on high

At the right hand of the Father sits the holy Lamb of God
Death defeated, he interceded; pleads for us now from his throne

At the right hand of the Father, standing now to welcome home
Sons and daughters, every martyr not ashamed to be called his own


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