An “Amazing Grace” Story

This morning, Pastor Keith Palmer reminded us of the significance of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”  The most commonly sung hymn in the world was sung for the first time 250 years ago today — January 1, 1773.

There is no way to recount how many times I have sung the hymn or heard it sung (or played digitally).  However, I have a memory of the most compelling time I sang it.  I was in Uganda, teaching local pastors about preaching with Pastor Dan Kirk.  On the last night we were there, some 200 African pastors sang “Amazing Grace” as a testimony of God’s work in their lives.  The song, written by John Newton, who had been a slave trader who had taken slaves from Africa, was being sung by those who lived on the continent where some of their ancestors may well have been betrayed and taken by similar slaved traders centuries earlier. 

I couldn’t sing for the tears in my eyes.  And I still am overwhelmed by gratitude for the amazing work of God’s gracious kindness in my life, and the lives of these dear brothers in Christ.  You can watch the video here.  (The video begins after the singing started.)

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