This is the view outside of the conference room at the Office of the General Assembly of the PC(USA).
I find this view to be telling in so many ways.
First, there is a beautiful view of the heavens right above the cross. It's beautiful there. Things are so peaceful, dare I say heavenly, there. That's where God is fully in control.
But down below here on earth, things are a mess. The view outside the windows are of an abandoned inhabitable warehouse. It's indicative of how broken our world is.
Right in the middle is a beautiful cross, the church. The beauty of the cross stands in stark contrast to the brokenness of the outside world.
If all you saw were the cross and the the broken down world, the picture would depict a church that is totally out of touch with the realities of the broken world outside. Inside of the PC(USA) headquarters and the church, things are clean, beautiful, and safe. That's wonderful but the disconnect between what's happening inside the building and the church couldn't be further from the dangers and decay of the outside world.
But if that's all people see, they're missing something.
The cross of Jesus Christ, the church, stands in the gap between heaven and earth so that the Kingdom of God can reach into the brokenness of the world so that God's Kingdom may come and be established here on earth as it is in heaven.
This picture depicts the ministry and the mission of the church.
That's why we exist.
The brokenness of the world is not the norm.
The brokenness of the world is the very reason why God sent his Son to earth.
And until Jesus returns to judge the world and to make all things right, the church is called upon to do the work of reconciling and healing the broken world.
Sometimes, pictures do tell the story.