Restoration of Fortunes for All in Our Common Home

Moses Kakaire reflects on Jesus coming into our common home, and how we can help realise this joy-filled good news for all today.


For our twelfth Advent 2023 devotional, Moses Kakaire reflects on Jesus coming into our common home, and how we can help realise this joy-filled good news for all today.

Restoration of Fortunes for All in Our Common Home


When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
   we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
   and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
   ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’
The Lord has done great things for us,
   and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
   like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
   reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
   bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
   carrying their sheaves.

                                 Psalm 126



Australia is the model of a successful, multicultural nation. Our weather, lifestyle, political stability, and economic prosperity have made this country a beacon for millions of migrants seeking a better life. Australia has also provided refuge to hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict zones around the world, like my family.

The results of the 2021 census reinforce the fact that Australia is a country of migrants. Over half of all residents were born overseas or have at least one parent who was born overseas. Other trends include the fact that the proportion of first and second generation Australians in the overall population has been rising steadily over previous censuses. Also, people of Asian heritage are rapidly replacing those with British heritage as the largest group of new arrivals.

Like many other migrants and refugees, my life and that of my family has been transformed in many ways as we’ve been welcomed into, and embraced the freedoms and opportunities available in this country. However, I’m acutely aware that although we share a common home, this narrative of hope and optimism isn’t shared by all people across these lands. This is particularly true in the case of many First Nations people, despite their significantly longer connection to this land. The history of colonisation, institutional abuse, and intergenerational trauma of our First Nations people is well documented as are the unfortunate side effects including the fact that, as a population group, they currently languish at the bottom of many key social indexes like childhood mortality, health, life expectancy, education, and employment.

Psalm 126 encapsulates some of the same paradoxes found in our nation. The psalm was written in the post exilic period following the return of the people of Judah after decades of forced exile in Babylon. It’s structured into three parts which reflect on the fortunes of the community in the past, present, and the hoped for future.

The first three verses focus on the return of the exiles from Babylon. Those verses offer praise to the Lord for restoring the fortunes of that generation by engineering their release from captivity and the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem. The Psalmist recounts how this was like a dream come true and how their tears were turned into shouts of joy and unbridled laughter.

While not mentioned directly, this Psalm also alludes to the period before the exile when an earlier generation lived in their land, practised their culture, and worshipped the Lord at the temple in Jerusalem. Their dispossession, forced removal, and the destruction of their temple must have seemed like a sign that their relationship with the Lord was irretrievably broken.

The contrasting fortunes of the generation who were forced into exile in Babylon and the later generation which returned has parallels in the contrasting fortunes of our First Nations people, before and after colonisation, and the fortunes of many migrants and refugees who’ve made a home in this country. 

As the Psalm moves to the present period and a hoped for future, it’s clear that all is not well. The Psalmist prays to the Lord to restore the fortunes of the community so that at some future point, those currently sowing in tears will also reap and come home with shouts of joy. Some Bible translations describe Psalm 126 as a community prayer for the return of all the exiles from Babylon as many had not yet returned at that point.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, we should also praise God for the restoration of our fortunes because it is only through Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection that we are reconciled with God.

In his ministry, Jesus laid out the blueprint for God’s alternative kingdom but warned that it would only be fully realised when all people - especially, the last, the least, and the lost of this earth - are flourishing (Matthew 25:40-45; Luke 6:20-21).

As Christians, we should not forget that we are called to be co-creators of this kingdom - here on earth as it is in heaven - through practical measures like pursuing justice for the marginalised. I pray for the day when the structural disadvantages faced by First Nations people in our common home are eliminated, when their connection to Country is fully recognised, and when their entire community can also reap with shouts of joy.



Moses Kakaire is a senior commercial lawyer who works for a multinational organisation primarily on technology and digital related projects. He was born in Uganda and, as a child, he and his family came to Australia as refugees with the assistance of the congregation of a local church in Sydney. Moses has previously worked in private practice and in-house in a legal and policy role for an Australian industry body. Moses is passionate about social justice and has volunteered with local community legal centres throughout his career to provide pro bono legal assistance to vulnerable members of the community. Moses lives on Gadigal Country and attends church at Leichhardt Uniting.



This devotional is the twelfth 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