This is my favorite song in the world. I have always loved it, I think initially because grace is described as a sound, something physical. I like the idea that God’s grace is so powerful that it can be experienced as a “sweet sound.” I grew to love this song even more when I learned the story of it’s writer. I have heard recently some people say that they were saddened when seeing the movie to find out that John Newton, the lyricist of Amazing Grace, remained for years afterwards the captain of a slave ship.

How truly amazing that we are the recipients of Gods complete, unwavering, and continual grace, despite the fact that we remain in our sin. The same sin that has led us here to rock bottom, to this last ditch sinking of our souls, to a place where we have nothing to cry out for but Gods grace.

THAT is precisely the point. That WE are not required to be perfected at the moment of receiving grace, but that Gods grace is sufficient to cover us while we remain, as humans always will, in sin. I think that is why this song moves me so. I know the story of it’s writer, how while still on a ship full of slaves, while still caught in sin, causing such suffering and agony not only to the very being of so many others, but also to his own spirit, while still there he caught a glimpse of grace, perhaps had an epiphony like many of us have – fleeting, yet life changing. That it is not a requirement for us to become perfected or even palatable for God to bestow on us His forgiveness is the definition of grace.

If we can live with that truth in front of our eyes continually, we surely would be less judgmental not only of others but of ourselves as well. I have often disregaurded a leading from God to do something He put in front of me because I saw it as something that required one more holy, more worthy than myself. How many of those things He asked of me never got done because I believed the lies that Satan told me instead of believing in Gods Grace? The lies that I was not worthy, not capable, not deserving of that grace. God is gracious and we need to accept it readily because only then will we actually realize that there is no human being capable of doing Gods work, but God is doing it ALL through us. We are only a vessel and He is miraculous and gracious in His willingness to use such flawed and ugly hands.

Read the lyrics carefully. John Newton is not saying in those lyrics that he was a wretch, he is saying that he is a wretch. He WAS lost – now found, but still a wretch. That, I believe is why this song moves me so, because I understand his amazement. I am a wretch who has been granted grace, and it is amazing.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far
And Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be 
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this heart and flesh shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease
I shall possess within the veil
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me. 
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.