SONG #3 of 50: “HUMBLE US, OH LORD”
“Humility, as we all know, is one of those virtues that is never gained by seeking it. The more we pursue it the more distant it becomes. To think we have it is sure evidence that we don’t.”
I’ve heard it suggested that worship songs shape people’s theology more than sermons. After all, people usually only hear a sermon once, and we sing some worship songs hundreds of times. And sermons are definitely important, but I can’t help but wonder how formational our worship music is, for better or worse.
I was looking for a song of confession for our church’s observance of Lent. Something that would necessitate a posture of humility in singing it. But outside of a few older songs, I couldn’t find anything that fit the style and content I was looking for. So using pieces of John the Baptist’s testimony and Jesus’ own challenge to his followers, I wrote “Humble Us, Oh Lord.”
May He become more, and we become less.
Oh Lord, you know our ways / Like blades of grass we sway / Whichever way the wind it blows / But you see right through our hearts / You know our every thought / Much deeper than we know our own / Father, forgive us / Remember your love
We’ve been proud and we’ve rebelled / We have lived to serve ourselves / We created our own hell / Now we crawl to you for help / You call us to come and die / That we might discover life / So give us life and to the full / Come and humble us, oh Lord / Come and humble us, oh Lord
Oh Lord you know our ways / We once were lost in shame / Addicted to our brokenness / But you came at the right time / Put your love on the line / And raised us from death to life again / All our debts were paid / On that gruesome day
May you become more / May we become less / Come guide our steps
John 3:30, Mark 8:34-38, Romans 5:1-11, John 12:23-26.
Melissa Hauger on backing vocals.
The Band, Dawes, Ryan Adams, John Mark McMillan, Ray LaMontagne, The Beatles.
It’s also probably worth noting that I’ve been intrigued by some of the worship music among reformed churches. Their musical traditions tend toward wordier lyrics and hymn revival, and often include themes of repentance and confession.
I originally wrote two choruses for this song. Both had the same theme and similar lyrics, but totally different melodies. I asked a few friends for feedback, and ultimately went with the chorus that “sounds less like a worship song.” Perhaps the other chorus will pop up someday…
I’ve already demo’d next week’s tune. And it’s one of my favorites. Subscribe to the project and get every song delivered to your inbox. >>