I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

THE NEWS THAT MY FRIEND NANCI had been killed in a car accident devastated those of us who knew her. She was on her way to a hair appointment when a young man driving under the influence of alcohol swerved into her lane, striking her SUV and killing her instantly. At his trial, the young man received a long prison sentence. He would spend many years behind bars missing out on the freedom to experience life with family and friends. He had chosen a lifestyle that resulted in destruction and unhappiness for him and his family.

In the story of the good shepherd, Christ emphasized that He came to give life. He had the authority to lay it down or take it up again, but He chose to lay down His life so that others might live. Nanci had chosen this life in Christ for herself. Because of Christ, she will live forever and those of us who knew her will see her again. He gives us the freedom to decide if we will accept His invitation or choose a shallow, unfulfilled existence that ends in eternal death.

We cannot live a fulfilling life apart from Christ. He gives the opportunity for a full life here on earth and eternal life for the future. Because He lives, we can live also.

Choose life by choosing Christ.

Vickie Phelps is a retired bookseller who enjoys reading and collecting books. She also plays the organ for her church and publishes the church bulletin.