What is the true meaning of Christmas, in your opinion? I hear a lot about peace and good will and things like that around Christmastime, but is this the whole story? — R.W.
Peace and goodwill are certainly part of the meaning of Christmas; when the angels announced Jesus' birth to the shepherds outside Bethlehem, the Bible says they were "praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men'" (Luke 2:13-14, KJV).
But this isn't the whole meaning of Christmas—as the angel made clear to those shepherds. Do you remember his message? "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11). This is the true meaning of Christmas: A Savior has come into the world for us! This is good news—the best news we can possibly imagine! This is why the angels praised God, and why the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem to find the baby Jesus.
You see, by nature we are separated from God because of our sin. Our greatest need is to have our sins forgiven so we can be reconciled to God. But how is this possible? We can't cleanse ourselves of our sins; only God can do that. And that is what He did, by sending His only Son into the world as the final and complete sacrifice for our sins.
Now, because of Him, we can have our sins forgiven, and we can know that someday we will be with Him in heaven forever. My prayer is that this Christmas you will discover the greatest gift of all—the gift of Christ—and by faith you will receive Him into your heart today. Your life will never be the same.