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