Saturday, July 21, 2012

What's In A Name?

So where does "Volumes of grace" come from, you ask?

That's a good question, because names are significant in ways most people don't think about these days. I love names, precisely for that reason. Maybe it's the anti-postmodernist in me. Words do have meanings. (Sorry, Mr. Clinton. Is means is.) My daughter's name is Rebekah because I want to communicate something about her. Rebekah means "bound up," as if by beauty. Her middle name is Grace... we're still working on that part! My third child's middle name is Christopher. I was never big on the name Christopher until I took Greek. Phero is to carry or bear, which makes Christopher take the meaning "bearer of Christ." Every day, I pray that my children will live out the meanings of their names. As you can see, I'm really into the nomenclature thing.

But back to the blog's title...
One of the earliest influences on my life as a new believer was Christian music. I was schooled in basic Christian doctrine by the well-worn, pearly white, hardback Baptist Hymnal I sang from each Lord's day. There were a few artists in the Christian Contemporary scene that I followed as well, but not many. Looking back, I suppose I always found the more popular Christian contemporary music scene pretty boring and predictable. But one group that immediately caught and held my attention was Caedmon's Call. Their writing was filled with things that appealed to the intellect as well as the emotions; they were communicating hard things about the faith. As an example, contrast Rebecca St. James screaming "God! .... God!" at the top of her lungs with Caedmon's Call wrestling over how to reconcile God's sovereignty with human decision-making. There is a place for both songs, but Caedmon's won a special place in my heart and my CD folder. They were singing about the very things I was passionate to know more about. When I met my wife, Caedmon's Call was a huge part of our time together. So much so that we named our first child Jesse Caedmon. (The name Caedmon has a very interesting story behind it as well. If you're into name meanings, check out the legend of the monk named Caedmon, who couldn't sing.)

My favorite Caedmon's Call song is a bit newer than the original pieces that made me fall in love with them. But the writing is amazing. The song communicates the truth that Christ is the only one to whom we can run when we are "laden with guilt and full of fears." The problems, questions, and hurts we have can only be overcome in this amazing relationship with Him. The speaker experiences intimacy with the Savior as she reads through the scriptures; a thing that I too have often experienced, enjoyed, and repeated.

So here are the lyrics to the whole song. It was written by Sandra McCracken and appears on Caedmon's Call's album "In the Company of Angels."

Laden with guilt and full of fears
I fly to Thee my Lord
And not a glimpse of hope appears
But in Thy written word
The volumes of my Father's grace
Does all my griefs assuage
Here I behold my Savior's face
In every page

This is the field where hidden lies
The pearl of price unknown
That merchant is divinely wise
Who makes the pearl his own
Here consecrated waters flow
To quench my thirst of sin
Here the fair tree of knowledge grown
No danger dwells within

This is the judge that ends the strife
Where wit and reason fail
My guide to everlasting life
Throughout this gloomy vale
O may Thy counsels, mighty God
My roving feet command
Nor I forsake the happy road
That leads to Thy right hand 

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