Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine

There are few hymns written about Joseph or about the relationship between Mary and Joseph. In the first stanza of this hymn Mary asks Joseph for help in raising “the child divine.” In the second stanza, Joseph responds and indicates his love for Mary and promises to help in caring for Jesus. The last stanza encourages everyone to come and worship him. In the refrain Jesus’ mission of love, salvation, and freedom is noted.

Read prayerfully this traditional German hymn.

Joseph dearest, Joseph mine,
help me cradle the child divine;
God reward thee and all that’s thine
in paradise,
so prays the mother Mary.

He came among us at Christmas-time,
at Christmas-time, in Bethlehem;
let us bring him from far and wide Love’s diadem;
Jesus, Jesus, lo, he comes, and loves, and saves, and frees us!

Gladly, dear one, lady mine,
help I cradle this child of thine;
God’s own light on us both shall shine
in paradise,
as prays the mother Mary.

All shall come and bow the knee;
wise and happy their souls shall be,
loving such a divinity,
as all may see
in Jesus, Son of Mary.

Traditional German hymn

Think on these things:
How have you imagined Joseph’s relationship to Mary, to Jesus?
Joseph is in the background of the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke, whereas in Matthew he plays a much bigger role. Compare the two stories, noting the similarities and the differences. Are you disturbed by some of the differences?
In this hymn the humanity and the divinity of Jesus are both included. How do you understand and deal with this duality?

Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence

Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.

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