Wednesday, February 21, 2007

New Thoughts, Old Hymn

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 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.

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.

Written c. 1772 by John Newton*

With the Hollywood movie** "Amazing Grace" hitting theaters this past weekend, I've had the chance to hear this popular hymn on Christian Radio coming home from work the past few days. I've always enjoyed it, I've always found it to be very beautiful in melody, but I never have listened to the lyrics quite like I have this week. Listening past the first verse, I saw how the words are actually mine. I never knew it, but they are.

Grace can cause us to have a healthy fear of the Lord; yet it can also calm the fears we have about our lives here on earth. When I try to think of all of the times grace has gotten me through something - struggles, worries, consequences of sin - I am amazed by it. Really. Being that He always follows through with what He promises us, His Word will always be a form of security to His people.

My favorite part of this version of the hymn is the very last sentence: We've no less days to sing God's praise then when we've first begun. How will I ever be able to fathom something, anything, that has no end? I try to picture my brother John sitting by Christ's side listening to my thoughts, already understanding. I feel that if he could tell me, he'd simply say, "You will."

I'll let that be enough to convince me.

*Many hymnbooks omit one or more verses and add the final one, as was the case here.

**On the way home from work yesterday, I learned from the radio announcer that the movie doesn't come out until this weekend. I'll blame the misinformation on the fact that the closest movie theater is 300 miles away!


Blogger coolskool said...

Amazing Grace is one of my favorite hymns of all times, I will never tire of singing it, and my favorite line is the same as yours...we've no less days to sing God grace than when we first begun. I used to sing this to my kids when they were going to sleep, up until they could tell their mommy has a terrible singing voice, now it is rare that I sing it to them or at all. so sad.

February 21, 2007 3:03 PM  
Blogger witness2miracles said...

In church last Sunday we sang "In Christ Alone." I also hadn't noticed the words much until I sang it this time. I decided that this week I would go thrift store shopping and try to find an old hymnal to keep at home so I could learn more of the hymns. Thanks for the reminder... I think I'll head to Bishop's Attic right now!

February 21, 2007 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How beautiful...Amazing Grace has memories for me clear back to catholic grade school. I can still here the principal Mrs. Robidoux singing "toils and snares" in her wierd(only wierd to me because I was a little kid) east coast accent. I have always thought the words to be quite profound. A more somber memory overtakes all others regarding this song as it was sung at my (step) grandma Grace's funeral. She was a sweet lady, who loved Jesus, who died to young at the hands of cancer. Very special song, thanks for sharing.
PS: Coolskool-I wanted to cry! Sing to them anyway...They may remember the bad voice, but they will also remember the love that came with it! (speaking as one who still tortures her children with her voice)

February 22, 2007 5:13 AM  
Blogger realityjunkie said...

This is beautiful BE. You are so eloquent and have such a sweet heart for the Lord.

February 22, 2007 7:26 AM  
Blogger auntibeck said...

And just yesterday for some reason I sang Amazing Grace in my car on the way home--LOUD, and with feeling--who cared if anyone saw my mouth moving in the rear view mirror as I snaked my way down Sepulveda Blvd! I am looking forward to the movie because I think (I'm not absolutely certain) that this is the story of Wilberforce and the abolishment of slavery in England and what a story Wilberforce has to tell! I love your faith and heart BE, and oh yes, your brother knows all things now and he has no less days now to sing God's praise!

February 22, 2007 7:49 AM  

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