Summary: Why have I given this sermon this title? And could God have given you more gifts, skills and abilities than you realise?

So - I am in my car sitting at the traffic lights, I rev the engine,the traffic lights are red, orange, GREEN. I take the break off, foot on the accelerator… and go no where.

Can you guess why? [take answers]

The car is not in gear.

You can have a perfect car that can do 0 to 60 in 5 seconds - but if it is not in gear it is really useless.

If you could have any car in the world what car would you like to have (take answers)

Apparently the most expensive car on sale at the moment is the Lamborghini Hurricane that will set you back a mere £181,865. I am sure it is a very good car, totally worth the money. But if you don’t put it in gear even a Lamborghini Hurricane is totally useless.

From cars to steam trains.

In the Thomas the Tank Engine book - does anyone remember what the biggest compliment that Thomas or one of his buddies can get?

[Really useful Engine]

In our Scripture Passage today from Matthew 25:14-30 - we are going to get to think are we really useful engines? Or are we like a Lamborghini Hurricane that is not in gear? Like the super car that the engineers have spent years developing, each one of you has amazing potential. So what we are going to reflect on today is - are we in gear, or are we sitting at the traffic lights in neutral.

So lets think about that story we have just heard. This is a story about talents - only before this story was invented by Jesus, a talent didn’t mean an ability - it meant a sum of money. It only changed it’s meaning because of this story

A man goes off on a journey, and before he goes he gives money to his servants to look after his money.

Let’s have three servants up here.[act out what I am saying that follows]

So to one of them he gives Five bags of gold, to the second two bags of gold, and to the third one one bag of Gold. Now you may be thinking that is unfair. I mean if you are thinking of bags this big [use small bag of chocolate money] - and she gets five of them - and she only gets one - that seems unfair doesn’t it.

And sometimes we can feel that with the gifts and talents God gives us. We can think - “It’s not fair, so and so is so talented. Compared with him I am useless. There’s no point me even bothering”

For example we might think - look at the musicians we have playing - we’ve got Jane on the keyboard, Charlie and Daniel on guitar - last monday we had Robin on the drums. So maybe you play drums or saxophone or bass or guitar or whatever it is and you think “I am not as good as them” When it comes to musical talent, they’ve got five bags of Gold coins [go to child with five bags and hold them up] - I have only got one [go to child with one bag of gold coins and hold them up] so there’s no point me getting involved with the music group because I have only one bag.

Except that in Jesus’s story, the bags of Gold that the master gives his servant aren’t this big [the small bag of chocolate coins] - they are this big [enormous black sack of balloons]. One talent of Gold was an enormous load of Gold - I have filled this bag with balloons because if I filled it with something as heavy as Gold then {insert name of child} would not be able to carry it. In today's money, for someone working minimum wage (like most people did in Jesus day) it would take them 16 years to earn enough money to fill this sack. A talent of Gold - sixteen years salary (1) - that is a lot of money. Now yeh, sure they {the other two children volunteers} get even more - {to the one bag child} how much pocket do you get a week? {do quick calculation ie 8 times 100 times the amount} - so would you complain if someone gave you {insert figure} or if you are a grown up earning £30 k a year - would you complain if someone gave you £480,000.

Yes sure they get more, but that is a lot of money in that sack.

Each of us has been given enormous gifts and potential by God. Of course there’s always going to be someone who is more talented than us. Even if you are an Olympic Gold medalist, there’s going to be someone who earns more Olympic gold medals than you. But {pointing to them} - everyone of the characters in this story has been given huge amounts of Gold. Every one of us has been given enormous gifts and talents by God.

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