2013 is the 240th anniversary of John Newton's hymn Amazing Grace.
This brief video (2 mins 18 secs) shows how John Newton was inspired to write the hymn Amazing Grace for New Year's Day, Friday 1 January 1773.
John Newton wrote his hymn to accompany his sermon on 1 Chronicles 17:16,17. He drew inspiration from the life of King David in looking back to the past, looking around at the present, and looking forward to the future.
Note Newton's own words for the 6 verses towards the end of the video. Hope you can encourage others to sing his original words!
Amazing Grace holds the world record for having the greatest number of different recordings. The Library of Congress holds a collection of over 3,000 different recordings of Amazing Grace. It has become a song which reaches many people worldwide in many of life's circumstances - whether in joy or pain, celebration or suffering.
Newton's Amazing Grace sermon can be downloaded from http://www.johnnewton.org.