It is only through that light of Jesus that our lives can truly be made free.

For my eighth-grade graduation party, I had a dozen or so friends come over to party like only eighth graders know how: high levels of insults, low levels of cleanliness, and a favorite amongst my friends at the time, ghost in the graveyard. The premise of the game was as follows: wait until it got dark outside, and designate one tagger. Everyone else in the game had to methodically navigate into the narrow, illuminated garage without being tagged.
As the graduation party progressed (and the trespassing on the lawns of our neighbors got easier), I ran around a corner at full speed and ended up with a mouthful of dirt. On further inspection in the extremely dim light, I felt with the tips of my fingers what turned out to be a small plastic fence designed to keep a tiny dog enclosed in the backyard. Even after confirming its exact position, it was nearly invisible to my naked eye.
So what did I do with this information? I used it to help my friends avoid the same fate as myself! Just kidding, I wanted someone else to eat dirt like I had.
At the start of the next round, I gathered a group of my younger brothers and a few of their closest friends and told them that I had found the best hiding spot ever. We sprinted to the spot with the nearly invisible fence, and I jumped over it at just the right time. Not noticing my change in stride, the entire group following me tripped simultaneously on the fence and fell flat on their faces. I sprinted away (a little too gleefully) as the group sat up, disoriented and confused.
The biggest lesson here: don’t trust a middle school graduate hyped up on ice cream to give you the best hiding spots in tag. It’s a trap!
Another (potentially more applicable) lesson here is the value of light. You see, the darkness deceived our senses. It promised a path without any obstacles where we could run free. It promised an open road with no consequences for our trespassing. It promised the easy way to get away from the things chasing us. But the darkness concealed the truth. Only the light could reveal the true obstacle that had tripped us.
In John chapter 8, Jesus spoke to the crowds (amongst them Pharisees) and said to them: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus is the light that illuminates the darkness. It is only through that light of Jesus that our lives can truly be made free. It is only by following Jesus (not another god, not another man, not a self-help book, not a workout regimen, and definitely not a middle school boy) that we can truly hope to walk in the light.
The sun, though 93 million miles away, gives off so much light that it sustains all physical life on earth. In the same way, the son of God (Jesus) gives off so much light that he sustains all life on earth. And unlike the sun, the light from the Son will never be more than an arm’s length away, waiting for your invitation to set you free to walk in the light.

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