Sunday, 11 January 2009

Amazing Grace

There was a time during this morning's service when I felt a strong urge to leap up and pray something. To my shame, or to the congregation's relief, I didn't. Such things just aren't done, are they? I mean, it just isn't my place to do so, is it?

And maybe it was just me -- something that just leapt up within me, but my heart swelled when I heard it. Pastor Terry, in prayer himself, acknowledged that God, through Jesus Christ, has, using the phrase from the hymn, "saved a wretch like me...". For some reason I found that an amazing thing for him to say, and I prayed a little prayer of blessing there in my seat, when what I wanted to do was jump to my feet and pray out loud before the whole congregation.

But it struck me that when he referred to himself as a wretch, as much as that term may indeed reflect his own condition (nothing personal Terry), he is neither a greater wretch nor a lesser one than any one of us. And so it struck me that, as much as we realize our own wretchedness, the phrase is not only a reflection of our own condition, which is a given, but an even greater acknowledgment of God's grace, by which He saw fit to save us in spite of it. The are two key words in that phrase; one is, "wretch," but the other is, "saved." I think that we often see only our own condition when we hear it, but this morning it drew my heart upward in an acknowledgment of God's greatness and grace. As much as it speaks of our own poverty, it shouts even more loudly of His greatness and love.

Our wretchedness apart from God may be great, but His grace is greater still.

Take Care

3 comments:

Canadian Pragmatist said...

How do you conscience demeaning all the great people of the earth to such an extent?

Oh, but it's for the glory of god.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

http://reaching-oblivion.blogspot.com/

Dave Groff said...

John,

Amen! The more conscious we are of our sin the more of God's grace and forgiveness we can receive. I feel sad for those who think they are too good to need God's grace.

Dave

John K said...

Yes, and I dare say that many of the greatest people of the earth probably realize their own inadequacy. That's the way it usually is. The truly great are often the most humble.

John Newton, the writer of the words of Amazing Grace, realized that at one point in his life (as a slave trader), he was indeed blind, but 'now' as he says, he sees. And what does he see? Well, he still uses the term, 'wretch,' doesn't he. And he and Wm Wilberforce played major roles in the abolishment of slavery in the British Empire.