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Magnificent Obsessions

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 3 February 2013

“This church is obsessed with sex!”, a rather irate visitor harangued me, having heard in the notices that our Vicar was to lecture about this in Church. I wanted to retort that we’re much more obsessed with Homelessness or Music or Worship or God, but the visitor wasn’t in listening mode…

I’m pleased to say that a list of St Martin’s obsessions, as I perceive them could be much longer. The fact is that there is a vast range of things that we quite rightly choose to give our attention to as a church and try to inform ourselves about. Sermons, talks, reflections on Scripture form part of our Christian education. Discussions, groups, conferences and retreats give the opportunity to explore things in greater depth or detail, perhaps sharing our personal needs and insights.

God is one of these healthy obsessions! The life-long, unending search to understand what “God” means and also to grow as God-centred people is a challenge and a joy: so much to learn from one another, from experience, from the Bible and other sources. And so truth is revealed or uncovered or discovered and we can be reshaped by that truth, the Mystery we call God.

The few weeks of Lent give us opportunity to re-explore another obsession: the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We need to approach it with openness and expectation, to stay with that story, travelling our own journey alongside Christ, the expectation being that God’s grace and love will be with us. So, how healthy are your obsessions?! As Christopher Fry put it, we need to “take the longest stride of soul we ever took. Affairs are now soul size. The enterprise is exploration into God.”

Revd Colin Midlane