Friday, December 16, 2011
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 25:14-30
When our girls were small we were always helping them dig in sand at the beach, building sand castles and unearthing treasures. Every summer we still love to dig in the warm sand and explore what is hidden below the surface. Now that it is no longer summer, I still enjoy walking on the beach, looking for treasures and detritus that has washed ashore. In our imagination there is always hope for finding buried loot, scoring a big prize and being secure because of some largess, accidental or otherwise. And yet we humans often don't use the riches we have been given, we hide what Gos has blessed us with and we bury our treasures and talents for fear of failure and loss.
Jesus tells his followers a story about a man who entrusted his servants with riches or talents while he was away. He wants them to understand that God showers us with gifts and we are to put those talents to use. Sometimes, we are reluctant, no matter how gifted and talented we might be. We let the threat of rejection ridicule and failure keep us from investing in that which was a true gift. Those gifts can atrophy and die because of our fears. But God would have us understand that even the smallest gift, the mildest talent is a blessing from God and God wants to bless us with abundance if we will but trust God and put those talents to use. In this season of over indulgence, we are reminded to be humble with what we have, sharing the blessings with those who need so that the blessings can increase across the board.
Today, I ask God to help me let go of the fear of failure and to trust that the small gifts I have can and will be put to use in God's kingdom. God needs us all and the blessings and talents we carried so that the world might see God's love alive and active in us. May we be windows to the world on God' heart, the place where love is compounding, where all are welcome and where there is more than enough and a home for all.