Faith Daily | 28 August 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p572
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless
until they find their rest in you:
teach us to offer ourselves to your service,
that here we may have your peace,
and in the world to come may see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 25: 14-30
14“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Rachel McFadyen
This familiar parable is one of several stories where Jesus says “God’s kingdom is like …” Jesus is teaching people how God wants us to act, what kind of people God wants us to be. Nowadays we often interpret “talents” to be our abilities, our skills and gifts, but for the people listening to Jesus, a “talent” was simply a very large sum of money. The first two servants traded with the money, invested it, and both doubled the value of their investments. They were taking risks – anyone who has ever owned shares or invested in business knows that it is risky, and the greater the promised return, the greater the risk. So the attitude of the 3rd servant wasn’t unreasonable; the other two risked losing the money but he at least kept it safe. But Jesus condemned this in pretty strong language! And Jesus then used the much-quoted – and hard to understand - passage: ““For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” All too often, we see this happen in the world; the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, but we don’t want to believe that this is also true in God’s kingdom. So what can we make of this story?
It seems God wants us to be risk-takers, to be willing to live “on the edge”, not perhaps to gamble on the stock exchange, but rather to take risks in how we live, to “put ourselves out there”. God doesn’t want us to be cautious and fearful, seeking the safe, the familiar and risk-free, “hiding our light (and ourselves) under a bush”. And maybe in saying that the one who has will be given more, Jesus is referring again to the Kingdom – if we have the kingdom, we will be given in abundance. And if we are too fearful to take hold of God’s kingdom, then in the end we will find we have nothing.
FINAL PRAYER: –
Enlarge my heart
that it may be big enough to receive the greatness of your love.
Stretch my heart
that it may take into it all those who do not know him,
but who are my responsibility because I know him.
And stretch it
that it may take in all those who are not lovely in my eyes,
and whose hands I do not want to touch;
through Jesus Christ, my saviour, Amen
African prayer, WCC, 1989