Sunday, November 16, 2008
"Well done you good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness." Matthew 25:23
When I was a young mother living in Baltimore, I sang with the Baltimore Symphony Chorus. We were a volunteer group, a cross-section of men and women from all parts of Baltimore and surrounding counties. It was one of the most diverse groups of people I had the pleasure to work with, and we worked hard, practicing and rehearsing for dozens of concerts a year. When we performed the men wore tuxes and the women wore white blouses and long black skirts. I truly enjoyed this experience. After several years, the leadership decided that we would all have to re-audition every season. We all had to parade before the maestro and sing from a score and sight read. A pretty typical audition but I was terrified. I almost didn't go. When my turn came I was such a wreck that I really struggled and didn't do well at all. They auditioning group shook their heads, and then our conductor told me to go sit and sing in my section and they would talk to me later. I knew I was doomed. I sat with my companions and as we started to rehearse, I lost myself in the joy of singing with friends. An hour passed and we had rehearsed several upcoming performance numbers. As we started the final piece, and I was singing my head off, I felt a soft blow to the back of my head. There was the maestro, who had just whacked me. "You know your music. You can sing. Why do you hide it so?" Then he smiled at me and said "you have passed your audition." Tears welled up in my eyes, from relief and from the shock to my system. I could only squeak out a small "thank you" and collapse into my seat.
We live in a time when many have so much, but are afraid to use what we have. Some of us are just cautious, and others are truly afraid. Some don't believe they have any talent. Some are terrified of failure and many have been ridiculed in the past. Society revels in the public failure of talented people. And yet God asks us today to use what we have. A talent in Jesus' time was worth more than a thousand dollars. A goodly sum. To some it was enough to keep going and to others, it was not enough to risk. In these unstable times, God is calling us to risk what we have. Risk our talent for the sake of others, for the cause of bringing Christ's love and healing to our broken world. God has given us great gifts and we are required, in turn, to use what we have for the love of others. May we have the courage today, to use the little that we have for the increase of the world. May we pour ourselves out for others knowing God will resupply and renew us completely.