Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Matthew 25:14-21

“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.

The law of our nature

The story goes on, and it’s not good news. The guy who has only one talent loses what little he has to those who already have more. It is one more chapter in the old story, “Them that’s got shall win; them that’s not shall lose.” The poor get poorer. Nothing new here.

The Master in the story gives from his fullness to each servant. But at the end he is not sympathetic. He has no compassion on his fearful servant but sends him away into the darkness where the soul aches for the light of God.

So is God, the Master, a punisher like this? Or is God like the healing hand of Christ reaching to the tenderest spots in our hearts to heal us again when morning comes?
Does God look at the world with jaundiced eye or with the warmth of one who loves us in spite of ourselves, welcoming every open heart?

I’ll take the latter. Everything I have ever learned in prayer and meditation, everything the wise and most Spirit-filled through the centuries have written speak of the passion of a love so warm and life-giving they stumbled over themselves to speak it.

But there are laws in the world of Spirit as everywhere else. The Divine Spirit works in certain ways, and when we resist these ways we cut ourselves off from the joy of the Master for which we are intended.

The Master gives life and breath, gifts and graces in creation. It is God’s nature to give, and human souls are created in the image of the Giver of all life. The two servants who risked what they had received cooperated with the Spirit. They flowed with the living stream of grace and love that springs from the heart of God.

The servant who fearfully hid what he had acted against God’s nature … and his own. He tries to hold tight to what he has, fearing punishment instead of obeying the Master’s way, the way of gift and grace, the way of risk, the way that leads to joy.

He did not know or trust that he was made in the image of his Master. Violating his own nature he lived in darkness not the light of the grace for which we hunger.

In the world of Spirit, when you give something away you become more … not less. You enter the Master’s joy.

Pr.  David L. Miller

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