I love seeing the pictures of you arriving. Some of you are carrying more, some carrying less. You are all carrying in yourselves your own stock of talents and failures, shocks and sorrows, and countless astonishing stories. You are finally here, and the sight of you is beautiful.
I am so grateful that our nation is doing for you what I'd pray it would do for me, if our situations were reversed.
When I first heard about your treacherous journeys, I wept. My small son asked why I was crying, and I explained as simply as I could that bad guys chased you away, and now you had no safe home. He cried and said you should come here, that he wanted to share his house with you. He has remembered to pray for you, unprompted, almost every day since (he prays for you, for parents who don't have children, and for ducks). I told him that some of you arrived today and he wants to go meet you. As soon as some of you trickle north, we'll find you and bring you warm presents.
Because ... well, want to apologize, Canadian - style, for the very cold cold. I'm so sorry that you are arriving in winter. I hope you are given warm clothes and blankets and soup from now til May.
But while I'm sorry you're arriving in winter, I'm so very glad you are coming at Christmas time. My favourite Christmas Story is the one of a Middle Eastern family seeking refuge.
I pray the faces you meet are wreathed with welcoming smiles. I pray the hands that stretch toward you are filled with helpful gifts. And I pray that you find peace, at Christmas time and all year long.
Merry Christmas, friends.
God bless you.