“for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Isaiah 56:7
Today’s lessons in church all struck me as being about inclusion.
- Isaiah 56:1, 6-8
- Romans 11:1-2, 13-15, 28-32
- Matthew 15:21-28
I don’t read Hebrew, but I wondered as we listened to our pastor preach on Isaiah 56 whether or not that word “house” was the same one used in Joshua 24:15 in the commitment that “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Is God saying that His household, His family will be an inclusive community where everyone is invited to seek and communicate with Him? What a beautiful concept if these two prophets meant the same thing by that word “house.”
He wants to gather ALL of us, EVERYONE who wants to seek to serve Him. It’s not about who you think you are, tribe or race, lineage or entitlement, its all about grace. Its not who we are or who are parents were, its not about nationality or reputation, its about God’s love and, as Romans 11 reveals, His mercy. And the story of the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15 reveals, its not something we receive because of our culture, background or by observing heritage or tradition. Our access is by faith- just by trusting that God’s love is for everybody, not just some select, predestined few.
We are ALL God’s family. Jew & gentile, black & white, male & female, native & immigrant, conservative & liberal, gay & straight. ALL. Why? Because HE gathers us. He wants us in His “house,” His household, His FAMILY.
Alone, rejected, marginalized, ostracized, outcast, or alienated? Ignore we hypocrites who’ve tried to keep you out or to make you feel unworthy, join yourself to the Lord, love the name of the Lord and He will make you a joyful household.
Feeling depressed and isolated? Feeling neglected or unappreciated? Like no one cares or understands? Hang in there, keep on keepin’ on. “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon My salvation will come, and My deliverance will be revealed.”
There are nor foreigners, just fellow family-members waiting to be gathered besides those already gathered.