The Place Where the Divine Meets Us

Poet, speaker and pastor Will Small reflects on the good news of Jesus’ birth for our common home.


For our first Advent 2023 devotional, Will Small reflects on the good news of Jesus’ birth for our common home. 

The Place Where the Divine Meets Us


Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
   you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
   before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
   and come to save us!

Restore us, O God;
   let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Lord God of hosts,
   how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears,
   and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us the scorn of our neighbours;
   our enemies laugh among themselves.

Restore us, O God of hosts;
   let your face shine, that we may be saved.

But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
   the one whom you made strong for yourself.
Then we will never turn back from you;
   give us life, and we will call on your name.

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
   let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19



This ‘For a Common Home’ poem I wrote for my friends at Common Grace was born out of listening to stories, shared by brave individuals who have lived experience of the four justice areas Common Grace works in: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice, Creation & Climate Justice, Justice for People Seeking Asylum, and Domestic & Family Violence Justice. 

Story is one of the great teachers. And through each precious story shared with us, we have the opportunity to see the world anew. 

As I listened, I looked for the common threads connecting these diverse human stories. 

It became clear that for dispossessed First Peoples, survivors of domestic violence and people seeking asylum, there is a common violation: an unwelcome interruption of ‘home’. 

We know on some deep level that home is more than a house or a postcode. Home is about belonging, family, and rest. Home is about safety, shelter, and love. Home is where you come from, and where you long to return to. 

This is the same fundamental issue we face as we grapple with changing climate and environmental degradation. The earth is not an external commodity. We are of the earth; it is our one, shared home. 

In Psalm 80, we hear the refrain of the psalmist, pleading for God to intervene in the chaos and bring about change.

"Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved."

Is this not part of what makes the Incarnation good news? Despite all the ways we disrupt and damage our home and all its homes, God still comes here. Not just for a ‘holiday’ — but to make home with us, again, and to show us the path to restoration

As the Message puts it: ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us’ (John 1:14). 

This Advent, may we see home in all its forms as holy, worthy of fiercely protecting: the place where the divine meets us.

Watch the recording of 'For a Common Home' poem below or download a text version here.



Will Small is a poet, speaker, and the founder of Lead by Story. He’s also the pastor of Meeting Ground Church and host of the Spiritual Misfits podcast. For over 10 years Will has worked at the intersection of the creative arts and social impact, using poetry, film-making, podcasting, and other creative mediums to advocate for a more inclusive and just world.



This devotional is the first in a series of daily email devotionals for Advent 2023. This year's series reflects on the longing, hope, and beauty of God’s ‘Common Home’ being realised, revealed, and renewed through the birth of Jesus.

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Advent: Common Home