When we hear the word talent we might think about the program “America’s Got Talent”. However, a talent was a monetary unit worth 20 years wages of an average worker.
The amounts used in the story were five, two and one, which is what the man who went on a journey entrusted to his servants. In essence, he gave them a lot of money. The Master obviously trusted his servants. There were no specific instructions given, just the money. Who wouldn’t want a deal like that? Is there someone who will trust us completely with their money? In reality God trusts us unconditionally. Trust and love go hand in hand. From the creation of the world, knowing that human creatures were going to make a mess, God made us anyway. With every baby that is born God’s plan is repeated. We look a lot like God and God looks a lot like us. We have the power to build or to destroy. To bless or to curse. To love or to hate. All the resources come from God. Like the Master, He has entrusted the whole world to our care. Some of us have been entrusted with much, others with less—but everyone has something—something to invest. Invest is what we want to do. Look what happened to the first two servants who doubled what their Master gave to them. They were given more responsibilities. They seized opportunity and knew how to invest. Naturally, we have to read beyond the literal level of meaning to appreciate what Jesus is trying to convey. He’s not speaking about our stock market or bank dividends. Everything we see, all that we have, every moment comes from God. Everything is a gift.
We hold a treasure in our hands. The best investment we can make is to share with each other. At the moment our level of trust is at an all time low! Some folks are angry; some are happy; yet we hold each other with suspicion. Not just because of the Corona virus, but because our views might not be the same. Since when does everyone have to be the same? Who said that we all have to agree? God only commanded us to love each other. In order to love we have to also respect, which allows for a difference of opinion. Unity does not mean uniformity. One of our greatest strengths has always been diversity. It’s ok to be different, as long as we remember whose money we are using—whose treasure we have—who the Master is. None of us are in charge. We are the servants who must give an account of our stewardship. Probably the first question we will get is not going to be, “How much money did you make?”; but rather “How did you treat the people around you?”
Parents in particular—your treasure—your talent is your family. You are not only responsible for your spouse, but for your children and their children. How well are we investing what the Master has left in our trust? How much time do we spend with your family? There are countless of folks who hide—just like the servant who buried the treasure in the ground out of fear. Fear keeps people from talking to each other—from really communicating their true feelings. Fear does not allow us to trust. Many do not know their family. They’ve spent all their life working for them, planning their future, providing an education—but do not know how to sit down with their children and have a conversation. Guess all of us have a little of the servant who buried the talent. Fear comes with woundedness of our past. Since all of us have been hurt. Since we are all “damaged goods”—we are reluctant to take a risk with one another. Unfortunately, the clock keeps ticking. At a given moment a parent might not recognize their flesh and blood because they have not invested the time. Burnt hotdogs, mosquito bites, last place in the race. All that really does not matter. What matters is that we tried. Stories in the Bible are like a mirror of our life.
God is the Master; we are the servants. When we invest in each other, we will hear the Master say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Come, share you master’s joy.”