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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Talent and Trust

In chapter 25, Matthew has gathered three parables related to the Last Judgment. Today is about “The Day of Reckoning.”
In Jesus’ real life experience there were many “absent land owners.” The sunairo,  a reckoning or accounting, is a sign of respect. To hold someone accountable means you take them seriously. 
Let’s be clear, a talent (Greek is talentos)  is a huge sum: 200 pounds of gold. (One talent is worth $840,000 in our money today.) The three men are entrusted with enormous wealth. The message of the parable is clear, "Do not bury your treasure. Do not accuse God of being unjust or unfair--and if you do, understand you are judged by your own words."
Unfortunately, the word talent in English means something different for us. It makes us focus on our capabilities so we may not feel we are that talented to equate it to a million or a couple million dollars. But that is the wrong interpretation, our personal talents/abilities impact how we invest the "Talent/Wealth" God entrusts us with.

As Jesus says elsewhere, “Fear not little ones, it has pleased the Father to give you the Kingdom!” IF God is like the absentee Landowner, then that is what He has done with each of us is given us the Kingdom. Let’s look at it logically.
1.    God is King, He owns the world.
2.   God gave dominion to Adam/Mankind and then He goes away.
3.   God left us in charge, to rule and subdue in His Name.
4.   The talent is the Reign of God, we rule as His Chosen ones (children). 
5.   We messed up, so God came among us as a human. Jesus shows what God wants (Servants who give their lives in obedience to the Father)
6.   Christ incarnate, Christ faithful, Christ crucified, Christ risen becomes Christ Spirit-giver, Christ mission-giver, Christ the absentee Landowner
7.   We are given "the Talents" meaning His mission/kingdom. 

Someday God will excitedly ask us, “So how did you do?”
Let's clarify: What is Jesus mission? 
Proclaim God is King. Proclaim God is a good God who loves His children. Proclaim God’s rule is already breaking in for those who trust/believe and love Him. So that proclamation becomes: healing (mind, body, spirit, relationships), exorcism (disabling demons and reclaiming God's territory from them),Teaching (truth in place of lies and confusion).  It is reconciling sinners and freeing them from sin, satan and death. It is freeing people from fear, selfishness, conflict, doubt and despair.
 This is the “millions bucks” in the parable. When Jesus comes back He will ask: “How awesome is it when you preach, teach, heal, exorcise, worship, forgiven, evangelize?” “How wonderful is it bring truth, mercy, love, kindness, holiness, humility, love, trust?”
If we say, “I wouldn't know, I buried it,” what could possibly justify us?

In the first reading, Barak had a promise from God that God would deliver his enemies. What follows is a missed opportunity. Barak did not trust God and he said he would go only if Deborah was with him. So he lost his chance and another woman won the day (something more shameful in his time than our own). The point: GOD HAS WON THE VICTORY AND YOU ARE HIS TOOL, IF YOU OPT OUT HE WILL FIND ANOTHER TOOL. DON’T THROW AWAY THE VICTORY PARTY 1. TRUST GOD. 2. OBEY GOD 3. ENJOY THE VICTORY OF GOD AS HIS TOOL

Hear Paul, You are children of Light. Your destiny is salvation. That is God’s goal, plan, intent. It is Good News: So live in light, sober and awake.
Be ready for the day of reckoning. 
God has entrusted you with the Kingdom. The reason is so you can celebrate His victory (for two of the three it was joy). 
That is the plan: Joyful celebration. 
God TRUSTS you. Don’t betray His trust. 
Seriously, be faithful ministers in word and deed. Let the Victory of Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, transform you into the Body of Christ.

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