"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." Luke 15:20
I have never been a runner. I am not built for it, I am not good at it, and I don't like it. Good runners are timed with a watch. I was timed with a calendar. I once got lapped running the half-mile race. Don't tell anyone.
When I was in high school I ran cross country for one reason - I had to. It was a rule that our basketball coach made that stated if you wanted to try out for basketball you had to run cross country. Well, okay.......if I have to.
My goal for every cross country meet was not to finish last. As bad as I was at running there were always others who were worse. I counted on that.
Now, when it came to basketball or soccer, I could run all day. Maybe it was because you were running in spurts, or maybe it was because it wasn't about the running.
I respect people who love to run and are good at it. I don't understand them, but I admire them.
This morning I want to talk about my favorite runner and the most amazing run ever! What am I talking about? I am talking about the day God ran!
We have been camped out in Luke 15 this month. I hope you have been enjoying it. If not, you should enjoy this one!
The runaway son was making his way back home. He was disgraced. He was destitute. He was desparate and broken. He was hopeful that returning to the father hungry, honest and humble would count for something.
He crossed the county line and saw the hill on the horizon. Home was just a short distance on the other side of the hill. His face was down as he stared at the dusty road concentrating on his speech, "I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be your son....."
That's when he heard footsteps. Looking up he saw the cloud of dust and in front of that cloud was his father! His father was running to him - with outstretched arms! The runaway froze in his tracks still rehearsing the speech in his mind. He wasn't expecting this.
It was textbook tackling technique! Dick Butkus would have been proud (or Ray Lewis - sorry about the generation gap). The running father hit the runaway son and wrapped him up in a bear hug. When he hit the filthy son, there was a toxic cloud released - but it didn't matter. The runaway had returned! It was a sweet reunion!
Think about a God who would run to meet you! There is no other God like that! All the other gods make people run to them and they put down hurdles to make it harder. BUT OUR GOD RUNS!
Have you strayed from Him? Has your heart wandered or your mind drifted?
Whatever may have put distance between you and the Father, I have good new for you. If you will head toward home in humility, honesty and with a hungry heart. You can feel the embrace of a God Who runs!