14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Matthew 25:14-30 NIV
My church is celebrating her 25th anniversary! For a quarter of a century, God has blessed us with His bountiful grace. As we are celebrating and counting His blessings from the past, we also know that although 25 years is a remarkable milestone, it is not our destination. And therefore, part of the celebration involves and requires our reflections on how we can build upon God’s grace, upon what God has given us and will continue to give us, as we journey on with Him as a family of God.
One of the many blessings we received from God is the talents He had given to the church. We are surrounded by some talented chefs, photographers, explorers, singers, teachers, planners, gardeners, artists, and designers. We also have many who are attentive and caring for others, and many who are kind, patient, loving, and compassionate. You see, God has entrusted each of us with different talents according to our abilities, just like this famous parable we are reviewing today.
In this parable, the number of golds/talents was given to each servant by the master according to their ability. It was not the servant’s choice on how much talent to receive but the master’s. Likewise, our talent is given, just as some are good at drawing while others are more talented in math solving. However, what to do with the talent we received is our choice! Just as the first two servants chose to trade theirs for a profit return while the last servant chose to hide what he had. The choice is ours to make. Would you use your talent for God? Hiding it? Or use it for something else?
O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.(1 Chronicle 29:16
David’s prayer to God is a reminder of how beautiful it is to offer what we have received from God to build His house, His kingdom. When we choose to do just that, He would also expand our capacity to receive more, just as He had promised. – “You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much” (Matthew 25:21).
It is also powerful when all of God’s people offer their talents together for the building of His church. Just like the exercise we had in our retreat camp. Groups with members having different talents coming together could come up with many creative ideas of things they can do to bless the church. For example, the group with the talents of attention to detail, planning, active listening, communication, and leadership, brainstormed the possibilities of doing outreach work, fellowship, mentoring and discipleship, advisor, and sports coaches. I can definitely see these ideas come to life and bring blessing to the church if the brothers and sisters possessing these skillsets and talents work together
Today, what we have received from God could be five talents, two talents, or one. What matters the most is not the amount, it is our willingness to give and give it together in response to the goodness and grace we received from our God, and for the glory of God.
“Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your master.”Matthew 25:21