A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah (56:1,6-7)
Thus says the LORD: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to him, loving the name of the LORD,
and becoming his servants— all who keep the sabbath free from profanation
and hold to my covenant, them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Let’s look at this, shall we?
Thus says the LORD: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed.
Well there you have it: the Lord couldn’t make it any clearer than that! Observe what is just and do what is right. In the turbulent times we are living in right now this passage couldn’t be any more fitting. I don’t want this to sound political by any means, only a very select few people know my political views and it will stay that way. But, I believe this passage instructs you to search your own heart and do what is right for the world and for all of God’s children. People are rioting for equal rights and equal justice, people of color are fighting STILL for the right to be treated with the same respect and dignity as other races. We have politicians that want to build walls around our countries and refuse to allow foreigners on our soil. There are politicians who want to tamper with our most sacred process, the election of our leaders, for political and financial gain. Our planet’s environment is in crisis and some of those same politicians are refusing to do what is just, fair, and right for our planet and for future generations for the sake of a fatter wallet.
The Lord promises to return to us in this passage and I for one believe his return is very close. But does that mean that we are beyond hope and we should just give up and let things (forgive me for putting it this way) go to Hell in a handbasket? NO! we as Christians need to stand up against the injustices that are happening in our country and our world today. The most effective thing you can do right now is to be the Jesus that this world needs. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, pray for all the above, and most importantly pray for our country, our world, and especially our leaders. Pray for your family members, pray for the groups that are in distress, pray for your black neighbor, your native American neighbor, your gay neighbor, your straight neighbor, your Muslim neighbor, all your neighbors, and all the people of the world.
The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to him, loving the name of the LORD, and becoming his servants— all who keep the sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant, them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer.
I think this is truly clear, needing very little explanation but here goes with my interpretation. Those who join with the Lord, praising him, singing joyful songs unto him, and being his faithful and loyal servants, he will bring to his mountain and make them happy in his house. God is simply telling you that if you praise him faithfully, put your trust in Him, and respect his laws, then you will be rewarded with everlasting peace and joy. Well that not asking a lot is it? Is it? I do not think so! Our time on earth is very brief compared to eternity: do not screw it up and forfeit your spot in God’s eternal plan for a spot in Hell.
their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar,
The Lord will accept your offering and sacrifices at his altar does not mean that we need to sacrifice a lamb or a goat or a living creature. What this means is that we should sacrifice our time and our abilities to build God’s kingdom and do his work here on earth. Give your time, give your money, give your aid and help to those who need your guidance. Teach others to pray, show others how to live a Christian life, sacrifice your time and your knowledge for the sake of the Lord.
for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Again. here is something that needs very little explanation but here goes cause I’m on a roll here. The front doors to the Lords house are open to everyone, regardless of race, color, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation, criminal background, or anything that we as humans feel are disqualifiers. God does not disqualify anyone or reject anyone from his house. If you truly have a repentant heart, and love the Lord with all your might, you will be welcome with open arms in the Lords house forever. Period.
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, teach us to do what is right and just so that we may be brought to Your holy mountain where we may worship and praise you for eternity. Please accept our sacrifices and our offerings, and make us truly thankful for all the blessings you have bestowed upon us. Amen