I've never had my own baby, but I've had 8 little siblings. Over time, those experiences have interwoven themselves into Christmas meditations. The birth of a new baby is a completely unique occurrence. Everything changes when you see that tiny person. You get the feeling that, even though you've spent months waiting for this baby, in all that time you had no idea what a life-changing event would actually happen. There's an exhilarating sense that a person is now here in the world who wasn't here just a few moments ago.

But the weirdest part is that you know he was here a few moments ago. That small, red, squishy human was present in the room just before birth. He was present all those times we were going about life as usual. And even though we technically knew about his existence, that baby's presence was hidden.

Do you know the feeling when you discover something that makes you rethink everything that happened before? That moment when you realize the mouse had really been Pettigrew the whole time, or that Jared had been living in a colorless world, or that Darth Vader was really Luke's father? That's the feeling I get when a new baby is born. I suddenly see the past 9 months in a different light, because all that time I didn't really know who was with us. And when I think about the next 9 months, I know that the rest of my life will never be anywhere close to the same.

When Christ comes again, I imagine that we'll get that feeling multiplied by ten thousand. Now we know and feel Christ's hidden presence on earth, but what a revelation it will be when we see him face to face! Maybe we'll look back at our earthly lives and wonder how all that time we lived in the presence of such immense love and power and still went on with "life as usual." We'll be overwhelmed by the knowledge that our lives are so changed - that they were changed before, but we never understood how much. 

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