A frosty hello to one and all! I hope you’re keeping warm and out of the blustery winds!
Good news! Our “construction project” is finished. Special thanks to the crews from Mike Harvey Construction for the beautiful work. As part of the project the women of the church went through the kitchen and the closets, cleaning out years’ of accumulated “stuff.” Isn’t it amazing how things pile up? In any case, the fellowship hall, kitchen, and new bathroom look great! Good job, everyone!
Thanksgiving is coming, and OACAC is still helping people from near-empty shelves. As you do your shopping this week, why not pick up a few more items for those who aren’t as blessed? Your donation may be the difference between a bit of food and a meal for a child. Let’s make every day thanksgiving by giving from God’s blessings to those who are struggling. No matter how much you give away, God will always give back more!
Sunday’s passage was Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the talents. A man went away on a journey and left his wealth with three of his servants. No doubt they were tested servants being groomed for a much larger task. Perhaps this was a test of their ability to manage the master’s wealth.
They received five talents, two talents and one talent, respectively. One talent equaled about 15 years’ wages for a laborer, so even one talent was a great deal of money. The first two invested the money and doubled it on the master’s return, but the third hid the money because he was afraid to lose it. We might be just as tempted to hide our money for fear of losing it, especially with the current financial crisis! When the master returned from his journey, he congratulated the first two servants on doubling his money, but when the third handed back just what he had received, the master was angry.
We, like the servants in the parable, have received many “talents” from God, left in our care until his return. As a steward of God’s blessings, which servant do I choose to emulate? The third servant made several mistakes. But the main problem was to not trust the master or himself. He was controlled by fear and pride, which caused him to fail.
We are given many gifts to use until our Master’s return, for our Master’s glory. Most often we fail to recognize our gifts. Because we haven’t been entrusted with great wealth or with a tremendous singing voice or the ability to preach before thousands, we assume we have nothing to work with. Friends, even if you are not the 5-talent servant, you are still blessed and enabled by the Holy Spirit for the work of God.
Why don’t we use our gifts? We, too, fear failure. Maybe we fear disappointing God. More likely, we fear being embarrassed by others’ criticisms. Whatever the reason, we allow our fear and pride to keep us from the tasks that will bless God and advance His kingdom, even if that advance is only to encourage one other person.
What is keeping you from serving God with all He has given? Take some time to inventory your gifts and “talents.” Which of God’s gifts have you hidden because of fear or pride? Confess your weakness to God and trust the Holy Spirit to help you serve faithfully. Seek out brothers and sisters in Christ who can help you discover the hidden talents in your life. Then listen closely as you hear the master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master!”
Do you have ideas or comments on this passage? I’d love to hear about your hidden talents and how you are learning to use them for God’s glory. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Talents.
Mary Kay Glunt