Filled With Wisdom

Rev Dr Steve Bevis reflects on the importance of community as we work and grow together, living out Jesus’ love for our common home today. 


For our twenty-first Advent 2023 devotional, Rev Dr Steve Bevis reflects on the importance of community as we work and grow together, living out Jesus’ love for our common home today. 

Filled With Wisdom


There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

Luke 2:36-40



I could not have written this song that focuses so squarely on Jesus’ life in Nazareth - imagining his childhood with family and friends, and with an assumption of Jesus being shaped by his wide extended family - without the inspiration I have drawn from Indigenous families across Australia. It is in the company of First Peoples, and particularly Aboriginal Christians, that my eyes have been opened to the gift that lies in having an inclusive sense of family, of a common home. This sharing of life and the nurturing of a place where people can feel at ease and be together has opened my eyes to see Jesus' life and message in deeper ways, a way of joy in the presence of others.

Jesus didn’t come from nowhere: yes, along with his family he occasionally participated in the religious life of his people in Jerusalem, and yet he promoted the strengths and values of his local culture and people. He also drew vividly on the environment which grew him up. It is the witness of Indigenous families and friends that has shown me that this ‘wisdom’ would have grown intentionally and organically from his life with others in Nazareth, a small village far from Jerusalem and the cultural, political, and religious elites. What he needed was found exactly where he was, where God placed him; with kin, and on country. It is no accident that “the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom” when surrounded by the supports of family and friends.

I can now imagine Jesus with his cousins running free, learning together, being blessed, and being a blessing. As we reflect on Jesus’ birth this Advent, can we offer that same sense of joy, wonder, and love to those we walk beside today? Can we play our part in creating a common home, a home that we see in the life of Jesus of Nazareth is extended to all? From Nazareth to where we live is but a small step if we are willing to join Jesus in this path of faith: a joy in the simple presence of others; one family, one Kingdom, one common home.



Rev Dr Steve Bevis is the Minister at Burwood-Croydon Uniting Church in Sydney, the Chairperson of UnitingWorld, and a founding Director of the Alice Springs Meeting Place Foundation. Steve is a songwriter who has produced numerous albums and performed across Australia and internationally.



This devotional is the twenty 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