Amazing Grace

‘Amazing Grace’ is a Christian hymn published in 1779, with words written in 1772 by the English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton (1725-1807).’

‘Newton wrote the words from personal experience.  He grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his life’s path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences that were often put into motion by other’s reactions to what they took as his recalcitrant insubordination.’

‘He was pressed (conscripted) into service in the Royal Navy.  After leaving the service, he became involved in the Atlantic slave trade.  In 1748, a violent storm battered his vessel off the coast of County Donegal, Ireland, so severely that he called out to God for mercy.  This moment marked his spiritual conversion but he continued slave trading until 1754 or 1755, when he ended his seafaring altogether.  He began studying Christian theology.’

‘Ordained in the Church of England in 1764, Newton became curate of Olney, Buckinghamshire, where he began to write hymns with poet William Cowper.  ‘Amazing Grace’ was written to illustrate a sermon on New Year’s Day of 1773. ‘

‘With the message that forgiveness and redemption are possible of sins committed and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, ‘Amazing Grace is one of the most recognizable songs in he English-speaking world.’    Wikipedia

It is so easy to believe that our faith journey is the right journey and the only path to understanding God.  We retreat into our christian/political corners…much as pugilist do in the boxing ring.  When the bell peels out, for the next 3 minute round to begin…we rise from our stools with the cuts that we have received having been treated and our bruised and blue and blackened face…continuing to swell.  We know that this time we will knock out our opponent and that we will receive the Champion Belt!

‘Amazing Grace’ is my favorite Christian hymn.  It was for John Newton, the slave trader…it is for our political leaders….it is for all of us…in the darkest night of our soul!

‘As for Saul, he made havoc of he church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.’    Acts 8:3.   KJV

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