Collect for the Week: of Pentecost 24
whose sovereign purpose none can make void:
give us faith to be steadfast amid the tumults of this world,
knowing that your kingdom shall come
and your will be done,
to your eternal glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen APBA p.603
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 19: 11-28
As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. So he said, ‘A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, “Do business with these until I come back.” But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, “We do not want this man to rule over us.” When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, “Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.” He said to him, “Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.”
Then the second came, saying, “Lord, your pound has made five pounds.” He said to him, “And you, rule over five cities.” Then the other came, saying, “Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.” He said to him, “I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.” He said to the bystanders, “Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.” (And they said to him, “Lord, he has ten pounds!”) “I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.” ’
After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
GOSPEL Reflection : Contributed by Meredith Nicholls
There appears to be two themes in this parable, that of the hostility between the king and the citizens who were opposed to his rule, and the interaction between the king and his slaves. The parable really focuses on the latter and pointedly, the slave’s responses to their king.
How do we respond to the call of our King?
When we are active and generous in using our talents, I imagine God delights in our response. I have often wondered if he must be disappointed, (as we can be with a child who does not realise his/her full potential) when we allow our skills and talents to lie dormant, collecting dust.
God knows our full potential because he created these gifts and talents and bestowed them generously on each one of us. When we respond inadequately to God’s generosity and love, we create a barrier that prevents us from growing into the person he lovingly desires us to be. We can be encouraged from the parable not to underestimate the value of being faithful in the small things we do for Him and for others. God will build upon our faithfulness in service, but if we squander our talents we shall be impoverished.
FINAL PRAYER Collect Prayer, Jim Cotter
showering us with gifts
and challenging us to use them
to serve that which is greater than ourselves,
may we be humble enough
to receive what you give for our delight,
and selfless enough
to give of ourselves for others,
so that we and all whom we meet may flourish,
and grow to maturity in you.
We pray this in the name of Jesus
and in the power of the Spirit,
and in the promise of glory.