Strangers and Sojourners

Photo by Barbara Mattio

For my house shall be called
A house of prayer for all peoples.
—-Isiah 56:7

The builders of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem followed the instructions of the prophets and their vision. It was designed to be a house of worship for strangers and those journeying through Israel.

The Temple was constructed with an inner area where only Jews were admitted to worship. Within this area, was the Holy of Holies. The High Priest was the only one allowed here in the presence of G-d.The High Priest only entered on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. There was another important area in the Temple. It was “The Court of the Gentiles.” History shows us that there were often Gentiles worshiping with Jews in the Temple in Jerusalem.
The Jews considered the Gentiles, G-d fearers. The combined worship of Jews and non-Jews was the hope of a world where all peoples and nations would worship together. This hope would join all peoples in praise of the One who created them.

Outside of Paris, France is a structure called the “Universale” and it is also a building designed for all peoples regardless of race, religion or gender to come inside and worship the One God. It is in Surrennes and all are welcome to come and pray and worship together. I feel that the gathering of peoples of different races and religions to share the experience of being in the presence of Divinity is freeing. To experience the One together is healing and makes the presence of G-d, the Beloved, the One a reality in the life of each of us. I love the concept of the energy of all the prayers of all the strangers and sojourners wafting up to Divinity. What an amazing experience.

Photo by Barbara Mattio