So I know this “From the Desktop” is late again, but in my defense, I was technically on holidays last week, and today is my first day back. And what a day it has been so far. Without getting into too many (boring) details, let’s just say that a week off really doesn’t feel like enough. In fact, I almost feel like I’m ready for retirement!
Not that I want to be not working and living on pension, but just… oh wait, yeah that is what I mean. There are just times when life and work and stress seem so tough that we think just stopping might be the answer. When sometimes difficult situations arise and we feel the weight of that burden beginning to crack our backs and buckle our knees, then we might just want to give that burden to someone else or just ignore it altogether. Or sometimes there is a task in front of us that seems so daunting that it makes us feel like we would just rather not.
So yeah, I’ve been having one of those days. But I thank God that God has given me the drive to continue on in ministry and in my calling (also the paycheque is always nice). Because if God hadn’t given it to me, I would have missed out on all the fun as well (even if sometimes we really have to look hard to see it).
When we are as close to the end of the church year as we are, it seems like we get the hardest texts possible in the lectionary. I mean, we have a book called “Zephaniah”? (just admit it, you were thinking it)
This parable that we get this week is another one of those that I never really understood nor felt was really good news. We sometimes avoid it because it is more on the difficult side, and the typical interpretation is one that doesn’t sit well with us. So what can we make of it? Are the talents actual “talents”? Meaning if we don’t use them, we lose them? Or is God really that mean? That if we don’t… uh… use our talents, we’ll lose our talents?
This is what I mean when I say the typical interpretation doesn’t sit well with us. But somehow it is the first thing that comes to mind, and it seems like the one that makes most sense in context. It is so difficult that I actually thought about skipping this reflection this week and just worry about my sermon. But then I realised that this is exactly what the parable is about.
Missed opportunities. Unanswered callings. Skipped chances to do something positive.
I don’t blame that third guy for burying the money in the ground. I might have done the same to play it safe. But the other two saw the opportunity to do something for the good and they did it, and it paid off. We don’t know what the reaction of the master would have been like if the investment didn’t pay off, but I would imagine that the master would be just glad that they tried. They saw the chance, took the risk, and proved to the master that they don’t fear the punishment that they may receive, but they fear the good that is left undone.
As with us, we have a world of possibility ahead of us, and we are called to live in this world, to be God’s hands and feet, to live in the light and joy and good news of God’s love. And we are called to share that with others. I admit that it sometimes seems scary, but perhaps the consequence of not doing it might even be scarier… in that the influence we weld might be more powerful than we ever thought or imagined.
Together, we can make the world a better place. But we need all hands on deck. Together.
Have a great week, everyone!