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When Joseph Came to Bethlehem (Joseph’s carol)

When Joseph came to Bethlehem
His life seemed all awry.
His fair young bride was great with child
He knew not how nor why.
The angel told him not to fear
To trust God’s guiding hand.
His Mary, whom he held so dear,
Was central to God’s plan.

When Joseph came to Bethlehem
He sought a place to rest.
They wandered round from street to street.
The inns were packed with guests.
At last they found a humble cave,
A manger for a bed.
And there creation’s King of Kings
Lay down his royal head.

When Joseph came to Bethlehem
He knelt by Mary’s side.
He held him fast, her little one,
And soothed the newborn’s cries.
Then watched beside the stable door
And welcomed great and small,
The shepherds from their far-off fields,
Three kings on camels tall.

Still Joseph comes to Bethlehem
He greets us there this day
He recognizes all our fears,
Our doubts that lead astray.
He tells again the angel’s word
The trust that set him right.
Then leads us to his blessed son
Where darkness blooms with light.

Possible tunes: Resignation, Ellacombe, Forest Green, Kingsfold, Carol (“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”) Bethlehem, Pentatone.

Click here to download a PDF of this hymn.

J. Barrie Shepherd has graciously provided it for free congregational use.