You are currently viewing Hymns of Thanksgiving 5: Amazing Grace

Hymns of Thanksgiving 5: Amazing Grace

Hymns of Thanksgiving Day 5: Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

(John Newton, 1772)

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see

‘Twas 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
I have already come
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home

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’d first begun

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

This is one of the most widely recognized hymns of our faith. Even those who are not Christian often know the lyrics to this song. And unbelieving recording artists have released their own version of this well-known classic. But if we miss the meaning behind the lyrics, it would be a real shame.

Grace. It’s the underlying theme of our own redemption. Without it, we would be without hope—this grace is amazing, indeed! 

As we walk through this hymn, we see a sinful soul brought to light. Our sin blinds us, but His saving grace opens our eyes to see Him—to accept Him. 

Who wrote this hymn, and what is his story? John Newton, after leaving the Royal Navy, became a ship captain in slave trading. He was also an atheist. He experienced a violent storm in 1748, which began his quest for knowing more of the God he questioned. Later he came to Christ, acknowledging Him as Creator and Savior, and embracing His amazing grace. In time, Newton became an abolitionist and a clergyman, and just before his death, he saw the British abolition of African slave trading. 

Knowing a little about Newton’s background lends appreciation to this beautiful and moving hymn. As he accepted the grace of God, he recognized the error of slavery and how it opposes everything that salvation speaks of. God offers us freedom from sin, and in turn, we should not hold others captive in the way of slavery.

This song reminds us that our hearts should praise Him for this grace. I especially love this line:

When we’ve been there ten thousand years

Bring shining as the sun

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Than when we’d first begun. 

We will never tire of praising Him, brothers and sisters. Millions of years from this very day, we will still be singing songs of worship and praise to our Savior. Our worship of Him is timeless—it spans through a vast eternity. It’s prompted by a grace that is too big to contain, and it spurs our hearts to lift up our own voices in a song that will forever be sung by those of us who are His. Amen.

Leave a Reply