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Amazing Grace

Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb ... Blest is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled
Luke 1:39-45

Sermon Topic Amazing Grace

Sermon Week Fourth Sunday of Advent Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 1:45


God's amazing Grace had come to Mary in an unique and amazing form. But there would be no Christmas story, as we know it, if Mary had refused to accept God's amazing Grace. Mary's trust in God and in the power of His amazing Grace is an absolutely essential element of the Incarnation Story. "Blest is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled" (Lk.l:45).

John Newton, who lived in the Eighteenth Century, is remembered for the beautiful ways in which he expressed his appreciation of the Grace of God. There are times when you run out of words, your sentence structure begins to break down, and you still haven't said it all. That is when John Newton would begin to sing about God's Grace. His first hymns were published in 1779, just three years after the Declaration of Independence. He was a contemporary of the American Founding Fathers and he participated in the slave trade of the time. John Newton was born into a humble home. He had a very devout Christian mother, and a sea-going father. His mother died when he was seven and, from that moment on, his life radically changed. Some friends did their best to raise him for a few years but at age eleven he went to sea. In his own words, he became a "libertine" and an "infidel." Those are Eighteenth Century words that simply mean he rebelled against God and involved himself in all manner of immorality and blasphemy. He indulged himself in every way possible, in open defiance of God. At one point, he joined the British Navy, but deserted a short time later. He then joined the crew of a slave ship. (If you are up on your American Revolutionary History, you know that both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison had said that the effects of slavery were far more destructive to the persons of the masters than to the slaves. They knew firsthand, because both were slaveholders.) In any case, here was John Newton, involved in taking slaves from Africa, touching down in England and [...]

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