In Community with the Household of God
The household of God is community. Perhaps a visual image helps to explain. In the wilderness when the people of God were commanded to gather around the Tent of Meeting/Tabernacle (the place where God would speak directly with Moses and where the sacrifices would take place) the people encircled it. There were three tribes on each of the north, south, east and west (Numbers 2:1-31). The image is of a house with four walls, with each wall being important. Thus, there was no tribe greater than any other tribe. They were a community of equals, with God at the center. The Torah made this equality central to its understanding of community. Everything belonged to God, God shared and people were to share. They were to love God first (think focusing on the Tabernacle in the midst of the people) and love neighbor as self (think of looking around at the other walls).
Moses was the manager of this house. He received his orders straight from God about all aspects of this house (how it was to be built, organized and cared for). This is the Torah which describes not only the Tabernacle construction and sacrifices, but the community organization and community rules. Scripture is clear that Moses never spoke on his own but only relayed what he was given by God. In a sense God is the architect and builder of the house and Moses the overseer. This returns us to unless God builds the house, those who build it build in vain (Psalm 127).
Jesus is the son of the owner/builder (Hebrews 1) to whom the house has been given. He is also the one who sustains the house by his power. In the Gospel of John, we are told that all things were created through him (John 1). In essence then, Jesus is the builder as much as God is the builder and according to Jesus’ teachings and to James 2:1-4, the house of Jesus is to act exactly like the house of God, with all being equal with Jesus at the center (he is the new tabernacle where God and humans meet).
To be God’s house then is to be a community of equals with the Triune God at the middle. One last image. In the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, when the Grinch comes riding with the sleigh into Whoville, the circle (circled around the star) opens and the Grinch is welcomed in and gets to carve the meal.