"Ah Lord it's your birthday again!"

"Yes it is!" said the Lord as he looked at me, "It is indeed."

"Aren't you happy? I would be if I was you; I love birthdays as they come each year; so many presents, so many good wishes from friends and relatives, and Lord.."

"Yes Bob?"

"Your birthday is oh so magnificent! The whole world celebrates it!"


"Yes my Lord?"

"How old are you?"

"Come on my Lord you know how old I am!"

"Do your friends and relatives still come and give you little baby presents, like squeaky shoes and stuffed toys, or maybe a doll for you to play with?"

"Come on Lord, what are you talking about?"

"Do your friends still treat you like a baby?"

I heard the sound of silence and wondered why the Lord had not spoken till I heard Him again a few days later as I sang with the choir round a make believe manger:

Away in a manger no crib for a bed

The little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head!

"I'm not there Bob!"

"Not where my Lord?"

"In that manger you're looking at! That's not me in there! That doll in the crib!"

"I know that Lord!" I said.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes

But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes!

I looked at the make believe cow and the sheep, I stared at the sheep and the cow as they looked dumbly at the plastic doll and at sweet Mary looking shyly at Joseph for her cue.

"No Lord," I said, "That's not you!"

I left the manger, the shepherds and the wisemen, the choir, the sheepish cow, and the dozing camel and walked out and into the open, I heard His voice again:

"I came down to earth as a baby my son and grew up as the years went by. And as I grew I preached, I cast out demons, I healed and finally I died on the cross! I died to grow in the hearts of men! But to you and many millions I remain that little lovable infant! How nice to think of me as a child! Helpless, weak, dependent! How nice to let me remain a baby in your lives, a little babe incapable of doing little else than resting in his mother's arms! Let me grow Bob!"

"Yes Lord!" I said.

"Let me grow in the lives of you people, that instead of fighting one another, you will bring peace on earth, that instead of just growing rich yourselves, you will look after your poor brethren. I'm not a lil' baby! Let me grow in your hearts..!"

And suddenly around me I heard the singing of a thousand angels singing "Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna..!"

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