In a recent sermon I told about a dog that I adopted from the Humane Society here in town. He is five years old, an Italian Spinone. I have named him Max, after Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, a Beatles song.
He is a bird dog, around sixty pounds, with kind of wiry hair. If you ever want to meet him, I usually bring him to the church office on Wednesday. He would love to have coffee with you. He’s a really awesome dog, but it didn’t start out quite so well.
Here’s what happened that day. I went to get him at the doctor’s office. I talked to him and introduced myself. Then I put him in the car to drive home. I pulled up to the parsonage in the carport and opened the back door to get him out. But he was too fast. He jumped out of the car, and took off running. I tried calling him, but he didn’t know his name yet, and he didn’t know me from Adam. He ran across the street into a gated neighborhood. Thankfully, the gate was open so he was in a confined neighborhood.
I ran, somewhat, after him, calling him. Have you ever tried to catch a dog that’s running away from you? My goodness. I kept him in sight. But he was always at least two houses ahead of me. I kept looking for somebody to help me, but nobody was in sight. It was like a ghost town. I prayed for some divine help . . . and finally I cornered him and put him on his leash. And now, thankfully, he’s living happily ever after.
I have thought about that since then. Even though Max was running away, somebody was not giving up on him. Even though he was going the other direction, somebody was pursuing him.
In some way, that makes me think of the Gospel. The truth of scripture is that God is patiently, persistently trying to find us. God never gives up. Ever. Not on you. Not on me.
May we never forget that the Gospel is good news about our Heavenly Father who eternally and forever loves us.