Amazing Grace: Practically Embracing Grace

A major theme that was dealt with in the film Amazing Grace was the theme of facing the demons of the past.  This was seen through the life of John Newton.  The background story on John Newton is very interesting.  Newton was the captain of a slave ship before coming to know Jesus Christ and becoming a pastor.  He also wrote the most famous and frequently sung hymn, Amazing Grace.  Newton’s role in this film is that of the pastor of William Wilberforce when Wilberforce was growing up.  Wilberforce goes to visit Newton when he is struggling with addressing the issue of slave trade and meets a very regretful and sorrowful old ship captain.  Newton does not want to talk about his past and his experiences in the slave trade industry.  He is haunted by the sins of his past.  Newton shares with Wilberforce that he sees the faces of the slaves all of the time and refuses to go back to the past in his mind.  The picture painted by the filmmakers here is austounding.  You have this picture of a man who has penned the famous words: “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.”  This is a great hymn that expresses the grace that a person has in Jesus Christ, yet Newton is struggling to embrace grace himself in his own life.  Newton, like most of us, seem to have an idea on the concept of grace – that we were hopeless and helpless sinners who have been set free by Jesus – but we struggle to embrace grace in our own lives.  Grace seems to stay in our heads as a concept and never make it to our hearts and lives.  The film paints the struggle of Newton in truly embracing this Amazing Grace that he wrote about.  I feel like this is a struggle that we all have.  A struggle to embrace and accept the grace of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for being sufficient to cover our sins, struggles, and past.  Near the end of the film, Wilberforce goes to visit Newton to find him writing a book about his past.  Newton has finally come to a place where he sees the grace of Jesus Christ being truly sufficient for him.  He remarks to Wilberforce that he can finally see.  This is what drives us in our devotion and desire for Jesus Christ.  Grasping amazing grace not just as a concept but as a lifestyle transforms us!  This is one of the messages of this thought-provoking film.