One of the things I miss most about not attending church “in person” is singing with my fellow believers in Jesus. This time of year especially is usually filled with songs filled with joy and celebration for the birth of Jesus. One of my favorite hymns is one that shows how God looks at us now, after His Son took on human form and paid the ransom for our souls. That grace truly is amazing. I know that we will sing in church again someday, but now I’m looking forward to singing with angels even more.
“Amazing Grace,” written by Englishman, John Newton, first appeared in print in 1779. He was a rebellious youth who became a sailor trafficking in slavery. The hymn has been a mainstay for funerals for many years. Legend has it that while crossing a turbulent sea, Newton converted to Christianity. During a storm he was replaced on deck by another sailor who perished in his place.
He continued in the slave trade for 40 years after his conversion, but fought for better conditions for them. It took him a long time to realize that true freedom for him would only come if he fought for those who were enslaved. He was later ordained as a minister and became an abolitionist.
We are all somewhat like John Newton. We see injustice in this world. We tolerate it for a time. When we see how great God’s amazing grace is, we start to realize we can no longer accept prejudice, pride, hatred and fear. Our lives should change when we experience God’s grace.
Grace literally means undeserved love. We’re all equal in God’s sight. When He looks at us, He sees sinful wretches, despite what our works may show – but when He looks at us through the payment Jesus made , we are cleansed of that sin..
Not everyone accepts this grace. Many turn away from it. There are those that spit on it and say they don’t need it. It took a long time for Newton to see that real changes needed to be made. For some it takes a lifetime. Now is the time to accept God’s gift with thanksgiving and show our gratitude by living for the One who saved us.
When we’ve been here ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.