In Matthew chapter 25 we read the parable of a man who is going on a journey. This is called the parable of the talents. He called his servants together and entrusted his wealth to them. One servant received five talents, another two talents and a third one talent...each according to his ability. And the man went away. A talent was equal to 6,000 denarii and a denarii represented one day's wage. The man was gone a considerable amount of time which means there would be ample time to test his servants. When he returned home, he again called his servants together and settled accounts. The first man had doubled the talents he had been given, as did the man who had been given two talents. The third man hid his talent and did nothing with it. The first two men received the same reward even though they had different amounts of talents. The reward was based on their faithfulness, not the size of the responsibility they had been given. Because the smallest task in God's work may receive a great reward if we are faithful in performing it.
The third servant did not fare as well. He did nothing with what was given to him, meaning he will not share in the rewards of his master. When we look at this parable, we can choose to look at this third man and see hopelessness, gloom and doom. And there are plenty who do see that. Many look at this and resign themselves to an unhappy outcome. But here's the thing. God has given each one of us talents. He has entrusted His wealth to us. Our talents are the skills and abilities He has given each one of us to use in this world to glorify Him. God has chosen us to do things in His name in this world. Let that sink in. God has chosen us...you and me. He has given us abilities and He has put us in places where He wants us to make a difference. But too often we think about that and it seems daunting. God is not asking for each of us to be president. Sometimes what God calls us to do might seem small and insignificant to us, but huge to the person or people who are on the receiving end. A shoebox with a few toys or clothes in it seems like a small thing. But to the child who receives the box it is enormous. And the box of goodies comes with a chance to know Jesus...to receive Him as their Lord and Savior. That changes eternity for that child, perhaps their family and maybe even the whole village.
I believe that as we age, God gives us different talents. We may well have gone camping or on retreats with kids and youth in younger years. But as we grow older that may not be possible anymore. That doesn't mean we are done working in the world for the Lord. He will find another talent to give us...something else to do that will bring Him glory. Because our lives are to be lived such that all we do brings him glory. This is not a ‘have to’ kind of life -- we ‘have to’ do things that bring God glory. This is a get to life! God has chosen us...you and me. He has given us talents. We get to do things in this life that will please Him and bring him glory. We get to treat people with dignity and respect. That is what Jesus did. We get to worship and praise Him. We get to give, both to others and back to Him in the form of a regular offering. We get to gather together as a family of believers. We get to make visits and phone calls to others to check in on them and see how they are doing. We get to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others, so they too have an opportunity to know Him and grow in faith. Doing all those things means we are using the talents God has given to us. And I have just scratched the surface of things God has given us to do.
We at Resurrection have been very blessed this year. We have good solid leadership who has chosen to trust in Gods provision for us. It has been a challenging year in terms of finances. But God is faithful. We have been too. We have taken this parable to heart and been faithful with what God has given to us. We have continued to gather in worship...the family of faith coming together around word and sacrament. It isn't just like it used to be, but it is good. We continue to preach the good news. We continue to lift our voices in song. Some of us just make a joyful noise! We continue to eat at the table, a reminder every week of the sacrifice Jesus made for us so we can spend eternity with Him.
We continue to move forward with what God has given to us. We are being faithful to Him. He gets ALL the glory for what we have been able to continue doing. And because we have been faithful with what we have been given, He will give us more. God is good...all the time. And all the time...God is good.
In His grip
Pastor Matt W