Ani Difranco - Amazing Grace - Fisher of Men

It is one of the most widely known and profound of the hymns. It is written by a man that you would not have likely found sitting next to you in Sunday morning service. John Newton wrote this song, not to be a popular hymn but as words from his heart expressing the power of Christ's grace. John's profession was as a slave trader. He was responsible for transporting thousands of men, women and children from Africa to Europe, many of which died en route, due to appallingly poor conditions, rampant disease and shortages of food and water.

On May 10th, 1748 as he was braving a terrible storm and feared that his ship was certainly doomed, John cried out, "Lord, have mercy upon us!" He later wrote of the experience. He claimed that God spoke to him through the storm and that it brought about the moment of his "great deliverance." For the rest of his life he celebrated this as his anniversary. It was the day that the truth of grace became real to him. This one time slave trader walked away from his profession in favor of preaching the Good News. He wrote at least 280 hymns, many which are still sung in our churches today.

May 10th, 1748 was John's "Damascus road experience." His heart was transformed within the storm and his life going forward was a reflection of it. His crimes (although they were legal) against humanity led him to a heartfelt understanding of God's grace and brought about this transformation. He lived out of Jesus' illustration given to Simon the

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