Wednesday, November 11, 2020

November 12, 2020– Thursday prior to Pentecost 24 (Proper 28)

Matthew 25:14-30 – In the parable concerning the Master, the servants and the talents Jesus teaches, “To one he gave five talents to another two to another one each according his own power (might/ability)...then he went away.”

This is not parity or even fairness. The Master gives the servants what they can each handle. No little no less. Equality is predicated on difference not sameness.

A talent is the equivalent to the tribute one nation owes another. Jesus is speaking of trillions of dollars here. Remember there’s always a “wow factor” when Jesus teaches in the form of a parable.

No instruction is give on what to do with the talent but they do with it as they believe their Lord to be. This parable teaches that you get the God you believe. The worthless servant hated the Lord's generosity so he hid the talent digging a hole for fear of what the Master would do. It’s not so much that he didn't want to lose it as that he despised the Master’s liberality and kindness.  

What the servants have is not their own. The rich man of the parable gave his property to his servants as a trust until he returned. As servants of God, all we have has been given to us: our world, gifts, and our very own lives. Thus, we are stewards of God’s wealth. We are not free to do with his possessions as we wish. God holds us accountable for what we did or did not do with His property.

The Bible teaches us to fear God, but not to be afraid of Him as was the case with the wicked servant. The servant who did nothing with his talent was afraid of God. Though God is a just God who demands justice, holiness, and righteousness, we need not be afraid of Him, for He loves us. Fear Him? Yes! Fear Him in terms of reverence and awe! When we are afraid, we freeze, hold back, fear to venture. The servant was afraid he would lose his one talent and he knew the master would demand a return of his money.

In all things, fear in terms of being afraid, makes us inhibited, cautious, and withholding. In the Lord’s economy He is always reckless with His gifts – because He loves you! Love dares to venture and invest.

Two simple yet heart-felt Prayers–

Lord God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by your Holy Spirit that, always keeping in mind the end of all things and the day of judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of life here and may live with you forever in the world to come.

Lord, when the day of wrath comes, we have no hope except in your grace. Make us so to watch for the last days that the consummation of our hope may be the joy of marriage feast of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.[1]

The Crucifixion, Woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, The Book of Books in Pictures. copyright © WLS for personal and congregational use

[1] Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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