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The phrase, “the true meaning of Christmas,” gets used a lot, but, really, it’s not enough that people acknowledge Jesus is “the reason for the season.” To really understand the celebration of Christmas, people must understand that Jesus offers true meaning to life, all of life. In a children’s Christmas skit I saw years ago, one character announced, “Without Jesus, it’s all just an empty celebration.” Although the character was referring to Christmas, the same could be said of all of life: Without Jesus, life is just an empty celebration. Sure, people who don’t know Jesus can have fun in their lives; they can even experience love and some degree of satisfaction — just as people who do not know Jesus can celebrate and enjoy Christmas. But people who have not committed their lives to following Jesus cannot experience true life, the life that only “the Way, the Truth and the Life” can give.

Over the next couple of weeks, I encourage you to let every nativity you see prompt you to ponder not just the true meaning of Christmas but also the true meaning of life. It’s all wrapped up with a baby in a manger.

“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 3:17 NIV

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