I Call Him Lord
When I was asked what I would want to record for the Jesus Songs project, my answer was pretty quick. I had written the bulk of a song called “I Call Him Lord” right after completing my first ever worship album release last year. It’s pretty typical (and frustrating) for me that whenever I get done with some big creative project, it’s usually followed by a wave of creativity that makes the project I just finished seem obsolete already.
Anyway, I was excited about the song and now I had a chance to record it for this!
It was a solid selection for the project because out of all the worship songs I’ve written, “I Call Him Lord” was the most focused on who Jesus is/was. At first, the idea was simple…or so I thought.
I knew I wanted to start the song connecting Genesis 1 to John 1 and paint Jesus as this big galactic deity that played a role in the creation of the universe. Then, I wanted to detail some of the miracles he performed in his life toward the middle. At the end, I knew I wanted it to get more intimate and personal—tying neatly together the theme that this big deity is the same personal God that I call Lord. Turned out to be not so simple.
My favorite part of the song initially is still my favorite part of it. Much of the song is framed in a repeating question, “Who is this that…” did such and such. At the end of the song the question is answered tenderly, honestly, and pretty obviously: “It’s Jesus Christ.” There was something kind of special about that part for me.
As I thought about the song more and started to tweak and revise it, I came to an epiphany that was lurking just underneath the surface. This song is basically a step-by-step walkthrough of how I personally face my doubts.
Sure, I’m a Worship Minister employed at a church, but I’m also a science nerd and a realist. Sure, I’ve had times in my life when I was certain God was directing me and even speaking to me or giving me a vision, but I still have doubts on a weekly and sometimes daily basis about all sorts of things.
I think about matters of faith all the time. I enjoy it, but with faith come doubts. It’s a part of it. Otherwise it would be called, “Facts.” As humans we can’t really escape this completely. We can keep our minds busy. We can subscribe completely to an ideology/religion and just look up the answers in the Bible, Koran, or Wikipedia etc., but when we’re honest with ourselves and have to sit with our questions about death, right and wrong, if there’s a God or not—it can be arduous and lonely.
In the past couple years, I’ve come to grips with the idea that in this day and age, one of the best ways for me to lead people in worship is disarming them by voicing my own doubts. Leading in being transparent allows others to see that they can be too. That transparency is something anyone can do.
I’ve also observed quite a bit of dissonance around what a Christian is supposed to be. If you doubt you’ve probably felt it too. I’ve asked questions like, “Should I be doing what I do if I’m asking questions like this?”, “Do some of these people have it right and I’m just wrong or worse…crazy?"
I’m just going to say it. As Christians we believe a guy 2000 years ago got up from the dead and that somehow, some way that has implications on our lives being better today and our eternal future has been altered. I’m sorry, but that is cray-zayyy!
My hope is that anyone who listens to this particular song spends some time with it. My approach to doubt is all over it. I think through how I see code and design everywhere. I get to the point where I say to myself, “there must be a Creator.”
Then, I remember how God has done miracles in my own life. Next, I remember that he’s still guiding me and has an unconditional love for me. To me, love is the greatest mystery of all. Isn’t it?
Love doesn’t seem to make sense completely with evolution or natural selection. To me, it suggests the divine. It’s something we get to experience here and now and even show to those around us, but somehow still seems obtuse to the ways of the world.
In the end, I’m actually reassuring myself, “It’s Jesus Christ. It’s Jesus Christ. It’s Jesus Christ.” This is definitely not a cure for doubt, but it has soothed me on countless occasions. I hope it can serve as a comfort for those who listen to it or maybe even an invitation to wrestle knowing you’re not the only one who does.
To listen to "I Call Him Lord" and other songs from Summit, head here.
David Burleson is the Worship Minister for our Waterford campus. If you'd like to get in touch with him about volunteering or just to say "hey, thanks for making music at Summit!", you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.