Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:7)
It’s been said that Sunday morning at 10:00 is the most segregated hour in America. It’s sad but probably true. It seems that it’s our tendency to want to hang out with people who are like us. It’s not always a racial thing, though sometimes it is. Sometimes we prefer people who are in our same age range, our same family status, or our same financial ballpark. Though this may be what makes us comfortable, it’s certainly not God’s heart.
Isaiah was writing in a time when the leaders of Israel were lazy, greedy son-of-a-guns (was that possible in 700BC?). The priests had developed strict rules about who was allowed into the Temple precincts. Those who were “different” were not welcome. God replied that there was a day coming when all those who were “different” would be accepted and their prayers heard.
The place where God’s people gather is supposed to be a place where all are welcome. It is a place where those who are hungry and thirsty for God find not only Him, but acceptance with God’s people. Keep your eyes open for the stranger. And welcome them.