1. 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.
2. ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
3. Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
4. And when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
5. 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 first begun.
Amazing grace, as one of the most well known hymns, has touched the lives of millions upon millions of people since its inception in the 1800’s. It tells us a story not unlike our own – one of woe, and sin; one of complete helplessness, one of traversing many hardships. Yet the tag is always pointing to our Savior who promises so much more if we but accept grace freely given.
Grace is a concept that seems somewhat foreign to our post/hyper-modern world. To give freely what is unearned, or in fact undeserved seems preposterous. Grace must be co-opted. It is both a work of God and of man. He offers it, and we reach out and accept it. That makes the most sense, no? It may make sense to the world. Nothing is free. But grace, God’s grace, THAT is free.
For grace to be merited, is to make assumption that we have power in our salvation. That may sound empowering, and to some it may even sound like a good thing! But lets think for a second. How good are you really? How often, in the heat of a moment of temptation, do you choose good – do you choose God? I would be honest in saying over 50% of the time I choose sin. So, if we co-opt with God for our salvation, when did we choose good? Why does one particular choice bring salvation, and others are just choices? Are we really that proud to say that God, the omnipotent, all gracious Being that He is can be turned away? That when He offers grace to a sinner, we have any choice but to accept it in awe and amazement of His majesty?
That is what this song allows us to see. Amazing grace! How sweet such an offer sounds, that He would wish to save such a wretched sinner as myself?? Once I wandered the wilderness that is my sin, I was lost in my own damnation – but now! Now, I am found in Him who found me. He took my face, He made the scales to fall from my blind eyes. He held my blackened heart and He made me new. He taught me true fear, a fear of not knowing Him – then instantaneously He relieved those fears through His grace. There is so much in my life I have already done, that I have already made it through. It is by God’s grace that I stand here today – that I found breath this morning. And I know – I know for certain! – that it is His grace that will lead me to a new home when my time comes. It will be a life of endless peace and worship – one devoid of sinful flesh. It will be a life full of true purpose, and absolute fellowship with my brothers and sisters and with our Lord. And when we have spent an incalculable number of days before our Lord, singing His praises, working in and to His glory, it will be as if we had only begun.