Hymning the Text

Biblical Text: 1 Corinthians 10:1-4
Guidelines for Individual Playdates


Value of This Activity:

Writing lyrics pushes our minds into a different form of thought than when we are trying to explain a text logically. Writing lyrics to a hymn-tune presses our thought into a metric (measured) pattern. Sometimes we discover things when we are “forced” into a pre-determined pattern.

Items Needed:

Bible. Pen and Paper. Hymnal, if available

To Begin . . .

Spend a moment in quiet prayer. If you wish, begin by freewriting for 3-5 minutes. Just let the pen empty out your concerns and thanksgiving for the day. Breathe.

How to Play . . .

  1. Either using a hymnal or your own memory, select a hymn tune that you know well. A simple hymn will be easiest to use for this exercise. Sing or hum the hymn aloud to yourself a couple of times through so you have the tune and the rhythm of the hymn firmly in your mind.

    Some example hymn-tunes to use: “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” “Blest Be the Tie that Binds,” The Doxology, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “Jesus Love Me,” “Let Us Break Bread Together”

  2. Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-4.
  3. Using the hymn tune you selected in Step 1, write a verse for that selected tune using material from 1 Cor. 10:1-4.
  4. Ideally, write a second verse, but this time drawn from your own spiritual experience. Stay with whatever theme you established in your first verse, but write a verse from your own experience or for our own time.
  5. If you dare … close by singing your new hymn! (Please dare!)

In Closing . . .

Take a moment to breathe and let the playtime settle around you. Carry your curiosity and insights and questions into the day.

Playdate Reference Material:

Poetry As a Mode of Thought
Guidelines for Individual Playdates
Playdates with Scripture ARCHIVES

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Playdates with Scripture by Virginia Wiles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at virginiawiles.com.