Tonight Central Baptist a mid-week Lent soup supper and worship for our Tri-Boro Ministerium. The theme of the evening was “forgiveness” which, given the subject of our Lenten discussion group, seemed even more appropriate than normal. This was the slide which greeted people as they entered the sanctuary for worship.

My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things, that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.

John Newton was, by all accounts, a pretty terrible young man. For some reason he was spared from the immediate consequences of his ill-spent youth found forgiveness and grace in Christ, and human love and companionship in his wife. His early experiences lent him to great charity toward others, and eventually launched him into the movement to bring an end to the slave trade in the British Empire. He is an example not just of the results of “Amazing Grace,” but also of the need for it.