THE DAILY OFFICES OF PRAYER have always brought to my heart and mind the times, and the beloved people, and the places of my life’s pilgrimage. That’s one of the things prayer is, come to think of it, and one of the things the Psalms are: the stories of people’s lives, offered to God, the Source of all of life and love. This evening I think of O B Joyful, a childhood acquaintance in my hometown, known as O B to all and sundry precisely because he was. Joyful that is. And possessed of great enthusiasm for encouraging (and – importantly – enabling) others to be so. I’m sure he’d never have imagined that I’d be calling him to mind 40 or so years after laughing along to his Jubilate stories. O B had an eye for joy in the most unlikely places. Bless him. And God bless all who have mothered me in the faith and in life. And all who still do. They have encouraged me, and still teach me, to play a tender part in mothering others into faith and life, or maybe I’d rather say into faith in life. And there’s a lot of joy in that – in the being mothered and in the mothering.
The Anglican Chant tune used week after week in my boyhood church is playing in my head tonight. It’s a wonderful psalm, a wonderful invitation, a perpetual encouragement.
O B Joyful …
1 O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands :
serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a song.
2 Be ye sure that the Lord he is God :
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
3 O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise :
be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name.
4 For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting :
and his truth endureth from generation to generation.