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Saturday, November 14, 2020
Today’s 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.’ 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 the 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.’” (NRSV)
It is easy to take our God-given gifts and talents for granted. It is also easy to somewhat downplay or even ignore these gifts and not use them to their fullest potential. I am very much guilty of the latter, and our current pandemic has made it even more difficult to use my gifts.
Many of you know that I am a cellist and a handbell ringer and the director of the Handbell Choir. I have been playing both for about thirty-two years and have been granted many amazing opportunities to teach and perform for others over the years. I know that my gifts of teaching and musicianship are given to me by God and that I should do all that I can to develop these skills to their fullest potential to glorify God. But sometimes it is easier said than done. Perfectionism, negative self-talk, and a lack of motivation get in the way. I often feel like the third servant in this parable, not taking risks, playing it safe, and not using my gifts as I should.
I have been trying to catch myself when I fall into that unmotivated rut, pull out the handbells or the cello, and work on my gifts. What are your talents, and how are you using them right now? Have you found creative, new ways to put them to work during this time?
Gracious God, thank you for the talents with which you have blessed me. Remind me to never take them for granted. Help me to develop them to their fullest potential, and guide me to use them to glorify your name. Amen.
Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator
Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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