Amazing Grace for Wayne

Fred Wilgenburg

READ : John 3:1-16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (v. 16)

For Wayne’s funeral service, we used words from John 3. Jesus was in conversation with Nicodemus, a Pharisee. The Pharisee’s religious system was “black and white,” but burdensome. Follow all of the religious laws and you are right with God. It was clear-cut, but impossible to keep.

Jesus’ system seemed “gray” in comparison, but refreshing. Jesus said, “You must be born again” (v. 7), and “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (v. 5). How can one be born again, and born of the Spirit? Jesus went on, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Eventually, Nicodemus got it—grace. He believed and was forgiven through Jesus, he was “born of the Spirit” as the Holy Spirit guided him.

Wayne also got it, even though he had to battle hard against alcoholism to the day he died. He had personally received God’s grace, which he often shared about with people. Because of that grace alone, Wayne is now in heaven. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for simply and profoundly receiving us as your children, by your grace. Amen.