New Potatoes (21-03-2023)
Reading (Psalm 139:1-18)
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night”, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. Thought
Yesterday was the Spring Equinox, a date long waited for by gardeners and non-gardeners alike as it marks the time of year when the hours of daylight are equal to the hours of darkness. So today we will have more daylight than dark and this will increase right through to midsummer’s day. Also the clocks are going forward next weekend so our evenings will stay lighter for longer. The plants, and weeds, in our gardens will be responding to this increased amount of light and new growth will be everywhere.
For me it marks the time when I start my vegetable growing season for this year. The book that I am using as a guide informed me that I had to wait until mid-March before I started sowing anything, so it was with great excitement that I sowed my first radishes and lettuces over the weekend and planted the first of my seed potatoes in the large pot that they are to grow in.
When I went shopping for seed potatoes, a few weeks ago, I was unable to get the ones that I had set out to buy, so I decided to try something new and bought three different varieties that I had not tried before. For when it comes to growing vegetables I have no problem trying new varieties, especially when the seeds come free either from my mum or from a magazine. In fact I really quite enjoy trying to grow new things in the garden. However, I don’t just grow new varieties, I like to mix up some new varieties with ones that I have used before and found to be successful.
This reminded me of something that happened recently in one of our Sunday morning services. If I have a little bit of time before the service begins I like to look at which hymns have been chosen. I enjoy singing hymns as part of our corporate worship, particularly if the congregation is a good size. But I have to admit that, like many other people, I do prefer singing ones that I know and like. So when I saw that we were singing number 1343, I was a bit disappointed when I turned to it to discover that I didn’t know it at all, it was completely new to me.
The hymn, ‘O God, You search me and You know me’, was written in 1992, so is over 30 years old and it is based on Psalm139, which I have used for our reading today. It is a lovely hymn and I have become very fond of it. I have found many versions of the hymn recorded on YouTube which I have been playing at home as the words remind me of the Psalm and of God’s ever presence wherever I am. Also when it is used in another service, I will know it and be able to sing it with confidence.
This experience reminded me that I need to always be open to new varieties of worship and not to always want to have hymns and songs that I have used before. Like my vegetables, I don’t want everything to be new, I want a mixture of new and well known. But I must make sure I stay open to the new, as otherwise there are many blessings that I could miss out on.
Father God, keep me open to new expressions of worship, so that I may be blessed in my worship of you.
If you would like the words, this version is very clear
O God, You Search Me and You Know Me [with lyrics for congregations] - YouTube
This is my favourite version to listen to but it does not have the words
O God You Search Me - Farrell | Notre Dame Folk Choir - YouTube