A Tale of Neighboring Buildings

by DanWolgemuth on September 24, 2018

Within a quarter of a mile of my office are two prominent buildings. Both are substantial, expensive and active. One is the home of the Denver Broncos, the other… the Marvin W. Foote Youth Detention Facility. These two properties are side by side, yet they could hardly be farther apart.

One rewards the best moments of an athlete’s life, the other extends justice to the worst moments of a young person’s life.

Our best moments, and our worst.

What strikes me about this contrast is that Jesus doesn’t dismiss us because of our foolishness. He’s not waiting for us by the Broncos facility hoping that we come to our senses, that we learn our lessons, that we improve our lives. No, He pursues us in our moments of foolishness. He rescues, redeems, convicts and restores. In fact, He goes so far as to convict us in moments when we ignore our own foolishness and highlight the foolishness in others.

The implication and consequences of these acts of foolishness may vary widely… incarceration vs. driving a new black BMW, but we’re all foolish. The message of Jesus is not a pathway to less foolishness, but an onramp to the righteousness of Christ.

Jesus isn’t condoning or minimizing our foolishness or the implications of that sin, but He does remind us that it isn’t our foolishness or lack thereof that qualifies us for His love and mercy.

His message of unmerited grace was the same, whether He was speaking to a shamed promiscuous woman, or a wealthy ruler, or a self-righteous religious leader. The objective of Jesus’s love is not to transport us from a building of shame to a building of prestige. It is to help us to understand that no environment is potent enough to separate us from His love, and no accomplishment can qualify us for His affection.

In his profound and compelling book, Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson writes… “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

And I’m also absolutely convinced that no act of goodness is adequate or required to engage the Holy One of God.

We exchange our foolishness for Christ’s righteousness, and that outrageous act of love is what propels us to transformation.

Neighbors equally in need of Jesus.

Whether you reside at the Broncos headquarters or Marvin Foote… always and only Jesus.

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