Isaiah 56:7 — “My Temple is a House of Prayer for All Peoples!”

Isaiah 56:7 – New International Version

“these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

Reflection:

I want to emphasize that one translation of the word “nations” from the Greek, is “ethnos”, meaning “ethnic group” or in simpler terms, people viewed or defined as foreign from ourselves. The tail end of this passage I came across in Isaiah strikes me as rather profound in that God is letting us know quite clearly that all peoples, all ethnic groups, all cultures, and all groups and categories and peoples of all cultures are invited to His house of prayer–His Temple is a House of Prayer for All Peoples!

Now some may question how we could call the LGBT community an ethnic group or “nation” or ethnos, using the Greek word.  Well… the LGBT community is a diverse community comprised of people from many nations, many cultures, many beliefs, many, many different ethnic groups and races and languages and belief systems… we are a global community that spans every ocean and every continent except possibly Antarctica–unless there are a few LGBT climate scientists parked there for research….

In any event, LGBT culture is indeed real.  Every LGBT person is indeed a contributor to the culture of the LGBT community– whether we are from the United States or Nigeria, or France, or Brazil, or Russia, or China, or New Zealand or India or Vietnam or places in-between.  And the LGBT community is, like I said, a global community united by the fact that who we love and how we love and who we are and how we express who we are may sometimes set us apart from what mainstream society may claim to be “normal”… (whatever normal is these days)… but we are all united by the fact that not only are we different than heterosexuals or cis-gender individuals, but we are all human and we are all entitled to have faith and belief systems and ties to culture and art and music and religion and literature and history and dance and all the beauties of the world and God’s creations.

If people wonder if we belong in Christian churches, or Muslim mosques, or Jewish synagogues, or Hindu temples, or Buddhist monasteries, or other places of worship– the answer is simple.  Yes. We belong. We are all God’s creations and He expects us to be active participants in His world and His creation.  God loves wondrous variety.  God loves us enough to have created us, put us here on this planet with our hearts, minds, and souls, and emotions, and desires as they are.  We may have our flaws and imperfections– and we may sin and make mistakes and goof off from time to time– but He knows this… He has planned for this to occur.  He knows what’s in our hearts and minds.  He knows what’s going on.  He expects us to strive to be better people– more compassionate, more loving, more accepting of others, and more giving of ourselves.  He isn’t asking us to stop loving who we love.  There is nothing in any religion telling anyone to stop loving.

Stop hurting people with lust– that’s a wholly different thing than love.  Sexual promiscuity, un-safe, non-consensual sex, rape, sexual violence, and other perversions that involve inappropriate relations with minors– those are the abominations God dislikes and detests!  When love is corrupted by lust and unchecked desires and selfishness– it becomes a dangerous and dark sin indeed.

When we come to God through Jesus Christ, as Christians, for example, our focus should be on love– not lust.  Love in a selfless manner– not selfish.  Love for others!  Love for the well-being and care of others as we would want to be loved.  If people are capable of this kind of love, then they should be welcome in God’s House of Prayer!  If all peoples are capable of love, they are invited.

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About Rachel Conlin McLeod

Transgender activist, Christian at First Baptist Church in Willimantic, Connecticut. B.A. in History and Social Sciences, B.A. in Sociology Freelance writer, tutor, research assistant Loves hockey, ballet, women's gymnastics, and Bible studies.
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