What is your compass hymn?

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New Year: Watchnight

Editor of StF+ Laurence Wareing offers an activity to help you on your path through 2023.

For many of us, hymns are a way of expressing what we believe and describing the kind of journey we want to be on as a Christian.

As we prepare ourselves to enter another year, consider choosing for yourself a “compass hymn”. One that will see you through 2023, and maybe beyond. 

What is a “compass” hymn?

It’s a hymn or song that helps us set our direction; it will say something about the journey we want to be on. We’ll feel able to check in with it periodically.

How to choose your compass hymn

istock_compass_000012892925mediumFirst – weigh up your options.

Your compass hymn may not be the one you first think of. How have your “helpful hymns or songs” changed over the years? A song we sang in a youth group as a teenager might have been very meaningful then (why?) but might we wish to choose something else now?

(And dare I say it. . .  your compass hymn may not come from Singing the Faith!)

Second – ask yourself: Can I trust this hymn?

If we’re going on a long, perhaps a complicated, journey, we need a compass that is hardy and reliable – one for climbing a few Wainwrights or Munroes, not just for popping out to the shops. It doesn’t require lots of bells and whistles, but you’ll want your compass hymn to be a sound, honest companion on the way.

Nor does your hymn have to contain a challenging theological exposition (though it might), but it will be one that offers a space for repeated reflection.

Can we reset?

dsc_0077Our journeys can meander unexpectedly, and on occasions we’ll feel like we’ve come off track. That's a good time to re-read the words of our compass hymn, and hum its tune.

When we do, we may ask if in fact another hymn is now more appropriate or helpful. The moment may have come when we need to reset, with a new hymn. 

Whatever you choose to do, treat your compass hymn (old or new) with respect  let it help you assess your surroundings and your course for the next stage on your journey.

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