I haven’t been able to get the thought of the 1 million refugees, asylum seekers and migrants crossing into Europe during the last twelve months out of my head. I just can’t imagine what such a vast number of people even looks like.
So many of those have fled from their homes in fear of their lives and to protect their families.
They had no idea where they were going, no idea what sort of welcome they would receive, unsure of where they might live, how they could feed their families.
But whatever was to be, for them it had to be better than what they were leaving behind.
They may be fear filled peoples, but how brave just to leave behind what was so frightening and to look forward with hope.
For the Christmas story,quickly, the emotional experience of the manger turned into the fear filled experience of these migrants, for our Holy Family. Threatened by genocide, Mary and Joseph take their baby and flee for their lives, to set up home amongst strangers and try to sustain their family life.
What that does, is to put the child Jesus in the centre of our 1 million asylum seekers, one with them in their journey.
May the Christ child bring gentleness to the lives of all searching for a home in this coming New Year and may we help to bring their journey to an end.
Just a thought!