Scripture Verse

Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? Luke 2:49


Jay T. Stocking

Words: Jay T. Stock­ing, 1912.

Music: Ames­bu­ry Uz­zi­ah C. Bur­nap, 1895 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

  • Goshen (Gaw­ler), from Will­iam Gaw­ler’s Hymns and Psalms, 1789 (🔊 pdf nwc)
  • Kingsfold, Eng­lish tune (🔊 pdf nwc)
The Carpenter’s Son

Just be­fore star­ting to the Ad­ir­on­dack Moun­tains in the spring of 1912 on a short fish­ing trip, I was asked to write a hymn and sub­mit it to our pub­lish­ing house in Bos­ton (Pil­grim Press).

When I ar­rived I found the car­pen­ters bu­si­ly en­gaged build­ing and re­build­ing the camp on our lit­tle is­land. When not fish­ing I was watch­ing them.

The fig­ure of the car­pen­ter, as ap­plied to Je­sus, flashed on me as ne­ver be­fore, and I sat down and wrote the hymn, al­most, if not quite, in the ex­act form in which it now ap­pears.

Laufer, p. 96


O master workman of the race, Thou Man of Galilee,
Who with the eyes of early youth eternal things did see,
We thank Thee for Thy boyhood faith that shone Thy whole life through;
Did ye not know it is My work, My Father’s work to do?

O carpenter of Nazareth, builder of life divine,
Who shapest man to God’s own law, Thyself the fair design,
Build us a tower of Christlike height, that we the land may view,
And see, like Thee, our noblest work, our Father’s work to do.

O Thou who dost the vision send and givest each his task,
And with the task sufficient strength, show us Thy will, we ask;
Give us a conscience bold and good, give us a purpose true,
That it may be our highest joy our Father’s work to do.