Scripture Reading: Matthew 25:14-30
‘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.” And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, “Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two 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.” Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, “Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.” –Matthew 25:14-25
When I have the time, I enjoy exploring my genealogy. Once while tracking down some information on my family, I opened the census for the area in Oklahoma where my dad’s family lived and where I lived as a child. It surprised me that I recognized most of the names listed. They were the grandparents of my classmates. What was called the unassigned lands in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, were opened to settlement by homesteaders in 1889 through a run where the first person to get a stake taken from a 160-acre tract and turned it in got the land. First appearances would indicate that all the homesteaders started out with equal potential. Of course, that was not the case. Some came with household goods, and money others came with a horse and the shirts on their backs.
What struck me as I scanned through those names was the vastly differing outcomes for the families involved. Some prospered buying other farms and becoming wealthy. Others were still living off the land in poverty. What was the difference? Tragedy for some paved the way to desperate times. My grandmother’s first husband was struck by lightning and killed while plowing a field leaving her with six children to raise and no means of support. Others were like the one-talent servant settling for what they had.
The parable instructs us on our servanthood as followers of Christ. It encourages us to make the most of our resources. Look around at what some of done with very little simply by doggedly pursuing their quest.
Prayer: Lord, prod us forward to invest every ounce of our resources I the furtherance of your Kingdom. Amen.