St. John's Lutheran
Do Small Things With Great Love Each Day!
…so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.
December 17, 2021
The parable of the talents is a parable about life. Or rather, it is a parable of life well-lived. Jesus wants us to live well and that means He wants us to invest in God’s future. He has this crazy notion that this life is not the final life. We sow in this life and reap in the age to come. Of course, both then and today there are hard-headed realists who deny the reality upon which Jesus staked his life. Jesus preached the reality of a kingdom which was not of this world and called His disciples to invest in that reality.
Most of us know the story, a man leaves on a journey and entrusts his estate to his servants. To each servant he gives talents. (A talent was a unit of money — about 10,000 denarii which was a whopping sum of cash!) Two of the three invested, did well, and were rewarded. The third hid his talent because he was afraid. The New Testament scholar Frederick Dale Bruner writes that, “This parable is unique in attacking humility.” That is, “false” humility. The humility that refuses to believe that “little ol’ me” can make a difference. So why bother? In other words, the faithless servant’s problem is just that — faithlessness. He refuses to believe that God can use His small gifts to make a difference.
The great missionary William Carey (1761-1834) famously said that we should attempt great things for God and expect great things from God. That’s true, but what are “great” things? St. Teresa of Calcutta put it like this, “Do small things with great love.”
Greatness often begins with something as mundane as getting out of bed, putting our best foot forward, and trying to do something (however small) for God’s kingdom. Something that “advents” God’s love and goodness to others. Yes, it begins at home. It doesn’t need to be something “big and important.” Praying for someone, making that phone call, writing a note, giving a few extra dollars away. We take the talents (opportunities) we have been given and invest them in a future we see only with the eyes of faith. Give and forgive a little each day. Offer to God the talents we receive, invest them, and let Him do the math.