I composed the following hymn about Joseph while preaching through an Advent sermon series on “The Christmas Family” (as senior minister, First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga). In my research for preaching and the organization of the liturgy, I found little in the treasury of Christian hymnody about the earthly appointed father of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. Joseph’s role in the great narrative of our Lord Jesus is significant but understated. Joseph’s place in salvation history reflects that Biblical expression, as well: important (e.g., to the doctrine of adoption) but understated. The hymn, “O How Tender Was the Man,” seeks to maintain the simplicity and solitude of that Biblical portrait.
“O How Tender was the Man” may be presented as a solo on piano or guitar or sung as a hymn. I play an unaccompanied piano on the recording. The hymn tune is adaptable to 77 77 77 and, thus, may be presented to the famous tune by Richard Redhead (1820-1901). The tune REDHEAD is the musical setting for a number of Psalms and hymns. Here is one example: “Go to Dark Gethsemane” (James Montgomery, 1771-1854).
Joseph’s role in the great narrative of our Lord Jesus is significant but understated.
The hymn is copyrighted 2018 words and music by Michael Anthony Milton (Bethesda Music, BMI, CCLI). If you would like to download and use the music we would be most honored. This is why it is posted. If you or your congregation is able, please send a donation of at least $20 to Faith for Living, Inc., a North Carolina 501c3. There is no monitoring of the transaction. If you are unable to donate, please enjoy the music and present it as unto the Lord. The Paypal account is here. The proceeds to the ministry.
The sheet music is below. The sheet music follows the video from “Christmastime Again” (Michael Anthony Milton. Compact Disc; Bethesda Music, BMI, 2014), available at all online music stores, including iTunes and Amazon. The album is also available for streaming on Spotify and other online music channels, including iTunes Music. Listening to the free streaming of the song may help you to decide if this is something to be included in your preparation for the Advent and Christmas season coming. The Lord bless you and cause the name of Jesus our Lord to be magnified in this and all of the seasons of His grace.