At the time Jesus told the story of the talents (read it to get the background. I’ll wait) a talent was a unit of measurement or of money. As money, a talent was about what a day laborer could make in 19 years.
So the third servant was given what he could make in a lifetime, all at once. What could he do with that?
With the first two servants, Jesus set the parameters of the economy. During the time the master was gone, you could get a favorable return. You could double your money. It was possible.
And so, since this is a story of the kingdom, if you invest in what the kingdom values, there will be a good return.
What could he do with his life?
Here’s what happened.
The servant worried about the boss. He worried about getting it right. He worried about what would happen if he messed up, if he made the wrong choice. He worried so much about the outcome that he did nothing at all. He buried the money. With the boss gone, maybe he kept things going. With the boss gone, maybe he did nothing.
But here’s the thing that is hard.
If the values of the Kingdom of God are loving your enemies, it means that he didn’t love. If the values of the Kingdom of God are visiting the sick, it means that he didn’t visit. If the values of the Kingdom of God are feeding the hungry or clothing the naked, he didn’t do them
So in other words, if we have resources to share, time and money and love and encouragement and attention and peace and grace to pour into people, and we don’t, we are burying the talent.
But if we do, there will be a great return.
Which means that if we are keeping our money, we are burying our talent. If we are keeping our attention, our time, our health, we are burying our talent. We could be rich and comfortable. And like the servant who buried his life.
That’s upside down from our culture. That’s the Kingdom of God.
What are we doing with the time we have? What are we doing with the thoughts, the relationships, the time, the breath?
Some of you here are struggling for breath. I’m guessing that you aren’t wasting those breaths arguing about foolishness or making the most money. I’m guessing, because I’ve seen it, that you are expressing love. Expressing fear. Being honest in relationship.
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.
And here’s a daily reminder about a journal to make Advent different this year for you, your family, or your group: Giving a Year Meaning: A Healing Journal for Advent 2020.