Burying talents

Often, you read what I write after I’ve written the sermon. Not today. I’m working on a reflection for Sunday on Matthew 25:14-30.


Sometimes Bible-studying people spend time trying to unpack what words mean in their original context and language, what those words gain or lose in translation to English (or other modern language), whether the word “talent” means a measure of money or what we think of as an ability, how much a talent as a measure of money might be so when Jesus uses the word, does he mean a huge amount of money or a little amount of money, or on the other hand, if it’s an ability, does that include skills that are developed or is it just talents, like gifts or knacks, and as a result, does that mean that we should only include things that we didn’t work on and, in fact, we shouldn’t actually improve that talent, we should accept it as God-given and we should only deflect compliments to God.

Sometimes Bible-studying people can get distracted worrying so much about getting the pieces of understanding exactly right that they (we) become illustrations in the very text we are trying to explain.

Like the story of Jesus known as “The Parable of the Talents.”

Three people get money to steward while their master is gone. Two of them use it to make more money. One of them hides the money for fear of losing it and making the master mad.

In the effort to get the explanation of the parable exactly right and wondering whether and how it applies to us and believing that we probably don’t have much talent, not like the famous people with lots of talent, and wondering what exactly it is that we could do with whatever we have that we could use, I have a feeling we are burying what we have been given.

It may be as simple as this: Have breath? Use it to talk about what’s worthwhile. Have attention? Devote it to what’s worthwhile. Have thoughts? Make them about what’s worthwhile.


A daily reminder about a journal to make Advent different this year:  Giving a Year Meaning: A Healing Journal for Advent 2020.