It is the Women's World Day of Prayer today. All across the world people will be gathering for a service written by a specific group of women. Today we think of the women in Cameroon, who have chosen words from Psalm 150 for their service 'Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!' The service conveys something of the struggles of women growing up and living in Cameroon - the low value placed on girls leading to their lack of education, the vulnerability of the country to the traffiking of women and children, the poor level of housing in the city slums and the hard work of living in rural areas where there is still a daily walk to obtain water. Yet these women put the most jubilant Psalm into our hearts today - what a challenge! When we have so much, it is almost hard to take time to count our blessings let alone praise God with all we have and all we are. Those who live in difficult places have so much to teach us about God and about worshipping God.
The Women's World Day of Prayer is the one service which succesfully unites people right around the globe in prayer and liturgy. I have always enjoyed taking part, knowing that women will be gathering in Africa, and Asia, in Europe and America, and in Buckinghamshire, and Kent and all the other places I have served, singing the same hymns, hearing the same stories and praying the same prayers. I have often enjoyed the thought that my mother will be attending a service somewhere, whilst I am at another. Today I shall be sharing in a service with her, as I have been invited to preach at her church in Essex and she has been asked to do a reading, so I will be thinking of those meeting elsewhere.
As I drive around the M25 I must remember the joy found in the ordinary, and the struggle. 'Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!'