It was the custom at a City Church to put on a reception after the noon service and to offer a free lunch to first time-visitors. One Sunday, a woman wandered into the Church for the first time. She was inspired by the friendly spirit of the congregation who, after the service, ushered her into the adjoining hall for the reception. She followed the crowd through the serving line and tried to pay for her lunch like the others. ” No, No.” said the cashier. “You are a first time visitor, so your lunch is free.” The woman replied, ” I appreciate the offer but I want this lunch to cost me something.” Hearing this the cashier replied, ” If you stay around this Church long enough, it will cost you your life.
Life is God’s gift to us, and He wants us to use it well., Not only is God our creator, He is also our designer. Each person is created in the image of God, unique and special. We are endowed with talents and gifts which the Lord wants us to use responsibly in His service and in the service of others. Today’s parable of the Talents tells the story of a rich man (God) who gives five talents, two talents, and one talent to three people according to the capacity of each. The first two doubled the value of their talents but the last one played it safe, and buried his talent in the ground. When the day of reckoning came round, the Lord of the talents praised the first two who doubled their talents but had harsh words for the person who produced nothing from what he was given. That is why the Lord says, “For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
If you don’t use it you lose it! Every talent, no matter how small, has a purpose. Brother Lawrence wrote a beautiful book called ‘Practicing the presence of God.’ He describes how he used his God-given talent in the kitchen preparing meals and serving others. Arthur F. Miller has written a powerful book on ‘The power of Uniqueness’ which challenges everyone to discover their own giftedness. Everybody is gifted in some way. The important thing is to discover your giftedness, to delight in it and to develop it. It could be you have a gift for visiting the sick, taking care of the homeless, counseling others, playing a musical instrument, being a teacher, a physician, a lawyer, a writer. Whatever your talent is, it should not be hoarded or kept hidden. Let it shine. “You are the light of the world,” says the Lord, and your “light should not be hidden under a bushel basket, but placed where everyone can see it.”
The problem with the person in today’s parable, who received one talent, was that he was afraid to share or develop it. Your talents are not for you alone. They are given for the benefit others. Whatever your talent is, share it and pass it along so it can increase and multiply.