A house is where a family lives. It could be a free standing abode. It could be an apartment among a set of family dwellings. It could be a tent. It could be a palace. Lives are shared and families grow in a house.
In the Daily Office in the Book of Common Prayer, I found verses that thread together the reality of living together with our God who wants to live with his beloved. Alleluia.
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house, I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you. – Psalm 5: 7
The Old Testament expression of God’s house is acquainted with the temple in Jerusalem. The temple housed the presence of the holy King in the Holy of Holiess. I believe the intention of God’s redemptive actions in the Old Testament was to create a place on earth for the Lord to live with his covenant people. His abundant steadfast love was to establish a relationship, and in the relationship, live with the family he loves. Today is no different.
In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed; you guided them by your strength to your holy abode. – Exodus 15: 13
Moses sang in Exodus 15 of the goodness and power of Yahweh in setting him and his extended family (perhaps over 3 million cousins) free from slavery. They were then free to follow their God and redeemer to his house. It was first a tent to hold the Ark of the Covenant. It was then a physical structure of stone and mortar in centuries to come. He lived with his people. What followed was more intimate.
Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” – John 14: 23
In a loving relationship, you trust each other. When we love the Lord we keep his word not because we’re scared of an angry father, but because his words reflect his desire for his children to be more like him. Not only does he live with us, he wants us to be just like him.
Where you live and how you express your faith, hope and love opens the door for Daddy God to live with you. What wonderful dinner conversation we would all have.