Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Paraphraser: Karen Lafferty

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Text Information

First Line: Seek ye first the kingdom of God And His righteousness
Title: Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
Paraphraser: Karen Lafferty (1972)
Meter: Irregular
Copyright: © 1972, Maranatha! Music (admin by Capital CMG Publishing)
Article: "Seek Ye First" by Eileen M. Johnson (from The Hymn)

Notes

Scripture References: st. 1 = Matt. 6:33 st. 2 = Matt. 7:7 st. 3 = Matt. 4:4 Karen Lafferty (b. Alamogordo, NM, 1948) wrote this song one night after attending a Bible study on Matthew 6:33 in 1971 at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, California. Struggling with financial difficulties after recently starting a full-time music ministry, she returned home that night with new encouragement. Others appreciated its beauty and simplicity, and the song soon gained popularity, eventually providing the support that permitted her to continue and develop her ministry. Other stanzas, also based on well-known quotations of Jesus, were written anonymously. Stanza 2 is based on Matthew 7:7, and stanza 3 on Matthew 4:4 (quoting Deut. 8:3). The first two quotations are from the Sermon on the Mount, and the third is Jesus' response to his first temptation in the desert. The addition of anonymous stanzas is a phenomenon related to the oral tradition in which many Scripture songs have developed. The three stanzas together persistently and fervently direct our attention to the things of God in the context of living praise ("alleluia"), indicating that such a manner of life is necessary before God. Maranatha! Music published the composite and recorded it on their initial Praise album (1972). A musical missionary, Lafferty has been based in Amsterdam since 1981, when she became founder and director of Musicians for Missions, an international ministry of Youth with a Mission. She received a degree in music education at Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico. From 1971 to 1981 she was a member of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California, where she served as a worship leader and became part of a fellowship of musicians, Maranatha! Music (which later became a Christian music company). Lafferty has recorded several solo albums and a music video. Her musical style is reminiscent of the folk music of such singers and groups as Joni Mitchell, the Kingston Trio, and Peter, Paul, and Mary. She and Musicians for Missions travel worldwide with their music ministry. Liturgical Use: Before the reading of Scripture; appropriate in many kinds of services and at various points in the liturgy. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune

LAFFERTY

Named after its composer, LAFFERTY is a "simple is beautiful" tune consisting of one repeated musical line accompanied by a descant that encourages even the smallest congregation to sing in two-part harmony. A popular Scripture chorus published in many informal collections, it was one of the first t…

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Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 48 of 48)

Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #775

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #652

Baptist Hymnal 1991 #478

Baptist Hymnal 2008 #524

Celebrating Grace Hymnal #436

Chalice Hymnal #354

Christian Science Hymnal: Hymns 430-603 #572

Church Family Worship #168

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #596

Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #641

Common Praise (1998) #458

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #590

Complete Mission Praise #590

Gather (3rd ed.) #658

Gather Comprehensive #615

Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #600

Text InfoAudio

Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #175

Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #711

Hymnal: A Worship Book #324

Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #370

Hymns of Faith #447

Hymns of Promise: a large print songbook #65

Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #442

Audio

Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #899

Lutheran Service Book #712

Moravian Book of Worship #605

Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #576

Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #438

Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #333

Text InfoTune InfoAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #209

Rejoice Hymns #411

Sing and Rejoice!: new hymns for congregations #98

Sing Joyfully #615

Singing the Faith #254

Songs for Life #155

The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #713

The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #42

Audio

The United Methodist Hymnal #405

The Worshiping Church #447

This Far By Faith: an African American resource for worship #149

Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #745

Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #356

With One Voice #783

Worship (3rd ed.) #580

Worship (4th ed.) #663

Worship and Rejoice #349

Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #100

찬송과 예배 = Chansong gwa yebae = Come, Let Us Worship: the Korean-English Presbyterian hymnal and service book #136

Include 2 pre-1979 instances
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