All Welcome

All Welcome

Isaiah 56:7b-8

“… for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”

 

I’m sure you remember that chaotic scene in the Gospels where Jesus raged through the temple with a whip, turning over tables and chairs, and sending charlatans racing toward the exits, but do you remember what He said during that encounter? Matthew 22:17 records it: “‘my house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” See, the temple was sacramental—it stood as a physical symbol of a spiritual reality—and represented the presence of high God in the land of lowly men. But the building Jesus entered wasn’t like that. Behind the whitewashed raiment of Pharisees, it was a big box store: a merchandising enterprise led by Jewish elites. It should have been a haven for sinners and outcasts; instead, it was a members-only club that cast sinners out. 

 

Christian, if our homes aren’t havens for the lost around us, if the welcome signs on our doors are only for décor, if our lives aren’t sacramental sanctuaries where sinners can meet God, what are they?