Introduction to the Readings for Stewardship Sunday, November 19, 2017
This morning, our scripture lesson comes to us from the middle portion of the twenty fifth chapter of the gospel according to Matthew.
Reading from verses 14-30, we hear words of both affirmation and accountability. Listen with care to these ancient words addressed to a community in great turmoil. How do they connect with your own experience of being and becoming the church in our time?
The Parable of the Talents
“For it is as if a man, going on the 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.’
But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave!
You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter?
Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest.
So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with ten talents.
For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God, amen.