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Introducting OffMain Blog: What's in a name?

Path painting by Haitao Lin

There are two roads immediately adjacent to the building where our church gathers.

The first is called Main Street, bustling with bearded, tattooed, plaided millennials and people who wish they were, artisanal coffee on every corner, a nexus where poverty and a $5 cup-of-coffee go seemlessly hand-in-hand (or so it seems).

The other street runs parallel, and is a different world: Sophia Street. Small, quaint, quiet. Sophia, from the Greek word which means wisdom. People who walk on Main Street don’t go on Sophia. And people on Sophia wouldn’t be caught dead travelling on Main.

I feel it offers itself as a beautiful parable, for both what it means to follow Christ, and what it means to live in this beautiful-but-broken world.

At the end of His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ teaching on what it means to follow Him, what it takes to be a disciple, he commands his followers, who really have no idea what journey they are embarking on yet:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it”

In life there are two roads. Granted, we live in a society that tells us that we have limitless opportunity to forge our own path, but ultimately every choice in life boils down to this: taking the Broad, busy Road that leads to destruction, or embarking on the narrow path that leads to life. Main Street vs. Sophia.

Main Street is wide. It allows plenty of room for diversity of lifestyle, of morals, of person. You see homeless people. You see mom’s with little kids. You see endless university students striving and spending a fortune to look less wealthy than they clearly are. Everyone is on Main Street. It is broad.

Travellers follow their own inclinations and desires: they go where they want to go, eat where they want to eat, satisfy every and any craving. Destinations are reached by the compass of the fallen human heart.

This Broad Road has a wide gate – not only can everyone fit, but everyone can bring whatever luggage and baggage they want! No need to leave anything behind – not your sin, your pride, your desires. Come as you are, stay as you are. Do whatever feels right, go wherever your heart leads, be true to yourself.

So far it sounds great! I love walking on Main Street! But there is a problem: this broad way with wide gates and countless travellers leads to destruction.

The Main road of self-infatuation and sinfulness always leads to destruction, because it leads away from our loving Creator and the source of Life. The broad path leads to a place where all the goodness of creation will be absent: no love or lovliness, no beauty or truth, no joy, no peace and no hope.

Main Street

This is Main Street. This is the wide way where many today are happily walking, ignorant or indifferent that their destination is destruction.

There is another way! Sophia Street is just around the corner!

Sophia is hard to walk on. Narrow, the entrance hard to find, and is seemingly deserted when compared with Main Street.

The gateway onto this narrow path is tiny. There is no way of bringing anything with us. And ever if we could, the path is too narrow and small to lug and luggage. All your baggage, all your burdens – your accomplishments, your pride, your sin, your ambition, must be left at the gate.

Gate to the Secret Garden by Jacob Hanssen

This sounds terrible. It sounds like a family fun day you get dragged on that leads to endless misery with no discernable purpose.

But there is one: the destination.

Jesus says the narrow way leads to life.

Do you want life? Not worldly life with all its troubles, but true life, endless life, joyful life – life as God intended all along?

It will cost you everything to gain this life, but it is more precious than anything you have ever known.

That is the invitation. Our church gathers on Sophia Street, we journey together on the narrow path, looking to Jesus, who is the way, and the truth and the life.

Think about that. Jesus is the path. Jesus is the destination. And Jesus is the only source of truth.

Do you want to Get to God? Well then realize he has come to you. He has made a way so that you can reach God and enjoy His eternal life. The way is narrow, the journey is costly. But the destination is glorious.

This blog will explore life Off Main, off the main path, off Main Street, reflecting on the joys and challenges of following Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life.

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