Following the second world the nation began slowly picking up the pieces as there were still food shortages and many were living in great need.

Early one chilly morning a soldier was making his way back to his barracks in London. One the way he spotted a young lad with his nose pressed to the window of a bakery. Inside the baker was kneading dough for a fresh batch of doughnuts.

The hungry boy stared in silence, watching every move. The soldier pulled his jeep to the curb, stopped, got out and walked quietly over to the bakery window. Through the steamed – up window he could see the mouth watering cakes as they were being pulled from the oven. The boy sighed as he watched the baker carefully place them into the glass enclosed counter. Would you like some of those son? ‘asked the soldier.

The boy was startled ‘Oh Yeah…..I would’ The soldier stepped inside and bought a dozen and walked back to the boy in the cold. He smiled, held out the bag, and said simply ‘Here you are’ As he turned to walk away, he felt a tug on his coat. He looked back and heard the child ask quietly ‘Mister…..are you God?

The spirit of Christmas is, of course, one of generous love. We are never more like God than when we give to those in need. Even in these days of austerity the generosity of so many is truly amazing. The many acts of kindness and generosity shown to others that never reach the headlines and which ensure that the spirit of Christmas lasts all through the year never ceases to amaze me God may well lead us, like that soldier, to be the means of helping someone lonely or in need this Christmas.

Who knows? It may even bring us to the real message of this season that it is far more of a joy and blessing to give than to receive!

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