Yesterday Kari and I went to a Christmas Eve Eve service at NewSpring Church in Anderson, South Carolina with my brother and his wife. Perry Noble is the senior pastor there, and he gave a message last night on the Prodigal Son from Luke 15. And though the message was good, I couldn't help but think about something that wasn't brought up in the message. As the Prodigal Son is returning home, his father sees him from a long way off and begins running toward him. The question that came up in my mind was: why did the father run? Perry mentioned that the father was probably trying to protect his son because the townspeople might try to stone him to death for disrespecting his dad. That could be true, but my mind went somewhere else in the sermon. Is it possible that the father ran to the son because he was afraid the son might change his mind and not come home after all? Let's face it: it's tough for a person to swallow his pride. Perhaps the father was afraid that the son would have second thoughts about his homecoming and turn around before he ever made it to the front door. Perhaps the father was chasing after the son so the son knew how much he was loved.
As I think about the Christmas story this year, I see a God who is chasing after me. He sent his Son into the world because, in my own limitations, I wasn't able to make myself presentable for God. And just when I'm ready to turn toward home, when I realize my helpless estate, He comes chasing after me. The beauty of the Christmas story is that He comes chasing after every one of us. That is the Christmas story. God came chasing after us with His Son – providing a way for us to be made right with Him. Merry Christmas!