Tuesday of the Week of Lent II
“For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settle accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’” (Matthew 25:14-21)
Additional Daily Bible Readings: Genesis 41:1–40; Psalm 54; Matthew 25:14–30
Weekly Reading: http://bit.ly/2BPwFmP
There is more to this parable, but please read the entire passage for yourself. Although the parable ends with the servant who buried his master’s money being cast into the outer darkness where men weep and gnash their teeth, this is not intended to exemplify God’s actions. However, it helps to communicate the message of the parable. Which is?
God gives his children gifts and intends for us to use them for God’s purposes and glory! God does not bless us with resources, talents, abilities that we are to keep hidden throughout our lives. God sets us free, in Jesus, to take risks, rise to challenges, give our all for the sake of God and neighbor. If our salvation were dependent upon returning to God at the end of our lives exactly what we have been given, then we would have reason to be cautious, careful and dedicated to holding on to that which has been entrusted to us. But that’s not how it is in God’s kingdom and household. Because we have received forgiveness and salvation as a gift, we can be daring with what God has given us! We can take chances, try something we’ve never tried before, risk it all for the sake of God’s kingdom, knowing our place in that kingdom is secure. And what does that look like, practically, in real life?
Volunteer to serve in some way that you have never served before. Offer to be a nominee for church council. Work with children or youth, even though you are 70 years old! Visit a nursing home, even though you have never been comfortable in that environment. Visit a prison, though it scares you to do so. Be an assisting minister in worship, chanting the Kyrie, even though your voice wavers from nerves. Make a special financial gift to your church, above and beyond what you would have imagined 20 years ago. The possibilities are endless, because our God is a God of new beginnings, new opportunities, fresh starts. As a pastor, it is always heartbreaking when someone says, “Pastor, I don’t know how I will serve, because I don’t have any gifts or abilities.” It’s heartbreaking because we know it’s not true! God has blessed us all. Let us take the risk of discovering and using our blessings!
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for blessing me with gifts, talents and abilities. Help me use them freely and for your glory. Amen.
Lenten Response: Make a list of the gifts and blessings God has entrusted to you.
Video Devotional: From Ashes to Easter
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.