For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Thought for the Day:
Remember those who went before and their influence on your life.
“Mark, you will lead us in singing ‘Amazing Grace’, and Donna, you will play the organ,” stated Dr. Reginald Mallett. We were on a United Methodist Tour and were visiting the Evangelical Church in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England where John Newton was in ministry when he wrote “Amazing Grace.” What a special moment to realize that we would be leading a group of people to sing one of the most beloved hymns of our faith. So, I took my place at the organ, a place I was very uncomfortable but wanted to do as Dr. Mallett had planned. Mark took his place to lead everyone in the singing. I gave the introduction and the people started singing. As the people started singing, I realized I was playing too slowly and worked to play faster where I would be with Mark and the singing. Mark kept looking at me to speed up. It was very strange but we got through the song and I breathed a sigh of relief that it was over. After our time of worship, we sat down with Dr. Mallett and several others from the tour. It was then that one sweet lady spoke up. “The problem you had was that these organs have a delay of several seconds so you have to play the music and let the people sing with the delay.” It ends up that she was an organist and I was very embarrassed that I had played in front of her. We did laugh a lot after we realized what had happened and we continue telling stories about the experience even today. As I look back, the embarrassment has lessened and I now humbly realize that “I played ‘Amazing Grace’ on the organ where John Newton wrote the beloved hymn!” My husband, Mark, led the people in singing “Amazing Grace” as I played it on John Newton’s organ.
As we go though life, many Christians hum or sing, “Amazing Grace”, as a part of our prayer time because it so perfectly captures the feelings within our hearts. As we look back over the past years of loses we have had in our lives through death, job loss, changes, and so many other causes of grief we have sung: “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. That saves a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see…Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; ‘Tis Grace that 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’ve first begun.”
Today, I think about these words that have led people to Christ for hundreds of years and I want to establish within myself the faith John Newton felt as he wrote the song.
Prayer: God, thank you for giving us opportunities in life to do extraordinary things. Thank you for those who have gone before us who have left us such gifts as the words to songs. Please, Lord, give us the ability to show You to those around us through our words and actions.
Prayer Focus: THOSE WHO TRAVEL