“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound….”
Those are, of course, the opening words of that beautiful and classic hymn “Amazing Grace.”
They speak of how full, and compassionate, and wonderful – not to mention, amazing – God’s grace is for all of us.
I don’t know how many times I have sung that hymn as both a believer and a pastor and I love singing it every time I do.
Still, as much as I affirm the truth of that hymn – I am also drawn, especially during the season of Lent, to remember that there is a cost to following Jesus. It is not a “quid pro quo” type of cost, not a “I will save you if you do this or that….” I believe in grace being, well, grace-ful. I don’t, nor could I ever, “buy” God’s gift of love.
Still, Jesus reminded his followers and he still reminds them that we must carefully count the cost that will have to be paid in following him. Why? Because the world will at times hate us – just as it hates him.
Those who refuse His call – and for that matter His grace – are often those who persecute his followers in various, sometimes quite terrible ways. We who live in a relatively free country sometimes forget that. Those who live in parts of the world where following Jesus may cost them their lives do not.
So, count the cost carefully, of being faithful to God’s call on your life. In the short run, it may seem a high price to pay.
Then again, there is that “Amazing Grace” which, as promised, will sustain us along the way.