|First Line:||What shall we call him|
|Title:||That Boy-Child of Mary|
|Author:||Tom Colvin (1967)|
|Refrain First Line:||That boy-child of Mary|
|Copyright:||© 1969, Hope Publishing Co.|
st. 2 = Matt. 1:21, 23
African missionary Thomas S. Colvin (b. Glasgow, Scotland, 1925) wrote this text in 1967 for use at St. Michael's Cathedral in Blantyre, Malawi. In his missionary work Colvin learned that the name given to a child often expresses hopes for the child as well as events associated with his or her birth. The significance of Christ's birth and name, expressed in this text, is patterned after that African practice.
Stanza 1 asks about the identity of Jesus; stanzas 2-4 explain who Jesus is; and stanza 5 offers our praise and service to "that boy-child of Mary." The simple and direct text is for God's children of all ages.
Colvin was trained as an engineer and worked in that profession in Burma and Singapore from 1945 to 1948. After studying theology at Trinity College, Glasgow University, he was ordained in the Church of Scotland in 1954. He served as missionary in Nyasaland (now Malawi) from 1954 to 1958, in Ghana from 1958 to 1964, and again in Nyasaland from 1964 to 1974. His work there included preaching, education, and community development. After completing his missionary work, Colvin became a minister in the United Reformed Church of England and served an inner-city church in London. He returned to Africa in 1984 as a development consultant to the Zimbabwe Christian Council. He is now retired in Edinburgh. Colvin's writings include Christ's Work in Free Africa (1964) and three collections of hymns, many written in collaboration with African Christians–Free to Serve (1966), Leap My Soul (1976), and Fill Us with Your Love (1983).
Christmas season; church school programs and carol worship services of various kinds.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook