This week, we continue with more (seemingly) dismal scripture texts. The gospel text for Mathew, for example, ends—like many of Jesus’ parables told in Matthew—with “weeping and gnashing of teeth”. (Matthew 25:14-30) But, there is indeed some good news and encouragement here. In the parable of the talents, we see servants being given large sums of money. (A “talent” would have been the equivalent of 15 years’ salary at this time. In other words, a whole lot of money!!) The first traded in his five, and earned five more. The second did in kind with his two talents. The third, hid it, and was able to only return the same amount his master asked him to hold onto. Two are praised; one is kicked to the curb, so to speak.
So…what’s the good news here? Perhaps it is a word of encouragement, another wake-up call, to start sharing the “talents” you have for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with others. Like that play on words, there? 😉 Maybe, even, it is a wake-up call to the wider church, Christians from every time and place, to not hide or shy away from that sharing of the gospel, so that more might hear it and see what the Holy Spirit is up to in the world.
The first thing that popped into my brain this week in relation to this text comes from the film “Sister Act”. In it, the incognito Whoopi Goldberg/ Sister Mary Clarence/Delores Van Cartier is hiding in a convent to be protected by the nuns and the local police department after witnessing a murder. Well, musician and performer that she is, Sister Mary Clarence sees an opportunity for reviving the ministry at the convent and local Catholic church through the gift of music.
The shy Sister Mary Robert comes to mind, in particular. This mousy, quiet nun finds and claims her voice that God has given to her and uses it to sing songs of praise and thanks to God. By doing so, the nuns’ music, and sharing of God’s Word, comes back all the more in a great return of praise to God’s glory as more people return to the church and to worship.
This is just one fictional example of what bringing out and sharing our “talents” can do. By sharing them individually or communally, we learn from one another, encourage one another, and are able to worship God in Jesus Christ through those talents. And who knows what the Holy Spirit may do with them, or who you may encounter when you use them?
Where can you share your “talents” this week? Just think of what they can add and bring to our congregation, and to our community!
Here are two fun videos from “Sister Act” featuring Sister Mary Robert and the choir. Have I mentioned I love this movie, and its sequel? (Also about reviving a ministry and sharing the good news of Jesus, through the sharing of gifts and talent!)