Jesus said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!" And he said to them, "Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away."
He also said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come."
He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples. Mark 4:21-34
After spending time at camp, I have been reflecting on how hard it is to be a young person. We had a talent show during the week and I was so impressed with how many of them got up and performed in front of their friends. It's easier to hide in the back, or at least it was for me. We all have talents and light to share but we are often so afraid of being mocked or hurt that we hide them away. Unfortunately, hiding fires or lit candles under baskets can cause fires!
Jesus used parables and word pictures to help the disciples and the others to understand God's desires for them. He wanted them to be aware of the gifts they have and how willing God is to do something great with what seems like so little. The five loaves and two fish were concrete examples. But faith and talent are harder to grasp. God is willing now, today, to take the little we have and light up the world. If we but offer what we have God promises to use it well.
Today I ask God to help me not hide away. May we all step forward and share what we have, not fearing the response of the world but anticipating the blessings of God, who loves us all so much.