In 2010, Time Magazine did a series on the most influential people of the previous millennium…you would have thought that Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Newton, Napoleon, Marx, Darwin, Churchill and a whole lot of others would have been up there for the number 1 prize. Yet, according to Time, the man of the millennium was….…… Thomas Edison.
Reading his story, it is astounding that a boy with behavioural issues…..who suffered from almost total deafness…could be so resilient and industrious, that he became world famous. Edison was a hard worker and once famously said that ‘genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration’. He also said that he tried over 3,000 ways to make the light bulb commercially viable, but rather than be discouraged, he just kept going.
I wonder what life would have been like today if he had stopped at 3,000. Or worse still, if he had been too afraid to try? He used the gifts and talents that you have been given to amazing effect.
Today we focus on one of Jesus’ parables that (Matthew 25:14-29) follows similar lines. The master entrusts his servants with sums of money (talents), some more and some less, according to their ability and asked them to do something with it until he returns.
Now, the one with the most (5 talents) doubled his master’s money and was rewarded for his faithfulness and so did the second servant (2 talents), but the third one (one talent) was afraid to risk losing what he had been given, so rather than take a risk, he just buried it, until the day his master came and asked him to give account. The master was furious. Use it or lose it he says!! Is that the way things work in God’s economy?
God asks us to be faithful with the things he has given us; our relationships; our resources; our energies; our talents and abilities. Playing it safe isn’t faithful service according this parable, because faith requires some risks and is action orientated. The kind of faith that God is calling us today is to be obedient; prayerful; risk takers and committed.
God is giving us opportunities to use what we have to build up his church and to reach out in love to others – each of us has gifts, abilities and resources that are necessary for this to succeed. Some us are using what we have been given, while others have those treasures buried deep.
If you are called to give an account of what God has given you, what would the master be saying to you? My hope is that it would be, ‘Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share the master’s happiness.’ (v21)