Sunday, April 20, 2014

On Easter Sunday

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.

One of my favorite hymns is the quintessential anthem of redemption Amazing Grace. It's only in part because I have my very own amazing Grace, who continues to amaze and astound me every day, as I relish the wonder of being her mother. Each of my babies has been rocked to sleep by the words and the tune celebrating the endless depths of Christ's power to redeem.

The story of Easter is the story of John Newton, who wrote the original lines to the hymn. He could be the poster child for the power of redemption. Law-breaking, atheist, notorious for his profanity, incarcerated multiple times for his rebellion, and actively involved as a slave trader for much of his early life, Newton became a minister, ardent anti-slavery activist, and prolific writer of hymns, sermons, and gospel lessons.

The beauty of the grace he celebrated in his most famous hymn is that we don't remember him as one of many faceless slave traders in history. We don't know him for the violence and brutality that marked his early life. We don't remember him as a great minister. In fact, we don't really think about him much at all. His legacy is the peace and faith and hope and crowning power of Christ's wondrous work, as told in the words to his song.

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

The story of Easter is the story of second chances. And third and fourth and one-hundred-seventy-seventh chances. It's the story of beginning anew. It's the promise that all things, no matter how broken, can be made whole. It's the story of all things being turned to our good and to God's glory.

It's the story of grace so powerful that it can root out our sins, change our very hearts, and make us holy. That's some seriously amazing grace.

You can rise above whatever is holding you down. You can be more than you were. Whatever you were yesterday, you can be something more today. It's never too late, it's never too much, and it's never beyond the power of His love.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come. 
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

Amazing grace. Redemption. To overcome a life enslaved by chains or a life holding the chains on others, for healing the wounds we've received or the wounds we've inflicted, there is only One with power to bring us above the pain, hopelessness, suffering, sin, and despair of life.

Let His incomparable, transcendent, and truly amazing grace lead you home.

1 comment:

tren said...

What a beautiful post, Wendy.