Preached by Carol Kidd LLM on 15 November 2020: Second Sunday before Advent
Matthew 25:14-30 / 1Thessalonians 5;1-11
May I speak in the name of God, who by the power of the Holy Spirit calls us to build up and encourage each other, for Jesus sake: Amen
Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the splendour and the majesty; everything in heaven and on earth is yours. All things come from you, and of your own do we give you.
What beautiful words – praise to God – a doxology of wonder, worship and thanksgiving – a promise to give in return for what we have received and in gratitude for blessings yet to come:
All things come from you, O Lord, and of your own do we give you.
Everything we have comes from God and belongs to Him. We are responsible for using the resources and talents He so generously gives – never for personal power or our own acclaim but to give Him glory – and always following His command to love our neighbour as ourselves. Accountable for our actions, with free will to activate or leave dormant our individual gifts and talents, we are called to invest [to the best of our ability] our God given time and energy, talents, skills, finances and resources in ways that will further His kingdom until He returns.
Of equal worth in God’s sight, it is essential to respect that He endows us with different gifts so that together we might form the whole body of Christ. Accountability, equal worth, respect, endowment: are all necessary for trust and love to grow and to be fulfilled within any meaningful relationship. Couples in love desire to commit to each other and make life-long vows – All that I have I give to you, and all that I have I share with you. How true this is for all who seek a true relationship with Jesus.
So, what has all this to do with the Parable of Talents?
It is about our relationship with Jesus – the expectations that arise from His love for us – and how in love and respect for Him we must always be ready to account for the way we use the gifts He provides.
Both of today’s readings can help us to be diligent in the way we invest our God given talents as we prepare for Jesus’ promised return: Paul calls us to stay awake and encourage each other to keep the faith – and in so doing help to build God’s kingdom until He comes. The master expected his deposit to generate interest – we can increase the investment God has made in us by sharing the gospel message and by the way we live our lives.
Today’s parable is not about earning salvation – rather it is about judgement. The unfaithful servant buried his talent in a way that prevented himself [or anyone else] experiencing its value. He was judged lazy and worthless because he had wasted the opportunity to use his gift to profit God’s work and mission
Called to be faithful in waiting – and in that waiting to be active for Jesus’ sake – are we prepared for God’s question: What did you do with the talent, the gift, I gave to you?
Let us pray, by the grace of the Holy Spirit we might each be able to reply: Lord, I did not bury Your gift – to the best of my ability I have, through faith, strived to use all You have provided to follow Your call to live my life in service to others: encouraging them to be strong in hope and love, that Your kingdom may come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
For yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the splendour and the majesty; for everything in heaven and on earth is yours. All things come from you, and of your own do we give you. Amen.