Scripture Verse

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


Jay T. Stocking (1870–1936)

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)

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


The Carpenter’s Son

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.