Hymn Study: Amazing Grace

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…..” Those words come so easily to mind anytime I hear the music or even sometimes just as I sit and think about how thankful I am for that sweet amazing grace in my own life.  Written by John Newton in 1779, Amazing Grace is one of the most popular hymns in America.


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1 Amazing grace (how sweet the sound)
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.
John Newton had a life that almost seems as if it was a work of fiction. He was pressed into the British Navy, sold to a slave ship, spent some time as a slave on a small island, and spent years working in the slave industry. He also survived a major storm on a ship and that is the night he called his turning point. The night he turned back to God. He had learned of God from his mother but he had not followed God since his mother died when he was a young child.
The story of his transformation from slave trader and party boy to preacher and hymn writer is fascinating and a beautiful testimony to God’s ‘Amazing Grace’. To me his life story helps to share how the words of the hymn are so much more than just words. God’s grace is available for each of us, not matter what we have done in the past.
My daughter learned to play Amazing Grace on her violin. Learning to play the hymn on whatever instrument your child plays can be a great way to really internalize the words and music. If your child does not already play an instrument, a simple and inexpensive way to start is a recorder.

As we learn about this song, I plan to spend some time discussing with my children about how we have seen God’s grace work and move in our lives and the lives of those around us. In a time when things are stressful and full of strife in the world, I think it is beneficial to remind ourselves of God’s goodness and provision in our lives.

In addition to our regular hymn study activities, I found this audio drama about the life of John Newton from Focus on the Family. We love their audio dramas and this one is included with Amazon Music (or available to purchase).

If you would like to add some art to your study this month, Nana is planning a wonderful art lesson to accompany this hymn. It will be available in the hymn study course with-in the You Are An Artist Clubhouse Membership. We always enjoy being able to add a bit of art to our study.


Hymn Study Resources:

Story Behind Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace Recorder Instructions

Printable Recorder Sheet Music

Amazing Grace: Aretha Franklin

Amazing Grace: Bagpipes and Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Amazing Grace: Elvis Presley

Amazing Grace: Harlem Gospel Choir

Amazing Grace: Andrea Bocelli

Amazing Grace: Bluegrass

Amazing Grace: Acapella

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Hymn Study Fact Sheet

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