Summary: A sermon for the 26th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 28 The parable of the Talents
26th Sunday after Pentecost
14 ¶ "For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property;
15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more.
17 So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more.
18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ’Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’
21 His master said to him, ’Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’
22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ’Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’
23 His master said to him, ’Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’
24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ’Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow;
25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’
26 But his master answered him, ’You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed?
27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.
28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.
29 For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’RSV
Grace and Peace to you from Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
I would like to tell you three stories this morning which, I think deal very well with out gospel lesson.
Many of us are like the knife in the following: "A small boy thought his pocket-knife was to be used for sticking into the ground or flicking it into trees. Grandpa watched as the boy used the knife in this common way for many days.
Then Grandpa said, ’Let me show you what you can do with that! Grandpa found a piece of kindling and carved an intricate design of stars and circles. Grandpa said, ’Let me show you something else. He took some soft wood, whittled,gouged and cut, and shaved for about a half-hour. When he was finished, the boy was staring at the smiling bearded face which had emerged from the block of wood.
Smiling from ear to ear, Grandpa said again, ’Let me show you something.’ He went to the refrigerator and using the knife’s bottle opener, opened two bottle of pop.
There ’’Grandpa said, ’you can see there are a lot of good things you can do with this knife.’ The boy smiled and looked in amazement at this very special knife."
Many times our gifts, our talents are like that knife. God gave us something beautiful, something which can do a lot of good things, but placed in our hands we don’t know quite what to do with it. Placing these gifts in God’s hands, placing our lives in His hands, then, then we can see how wonderful the gifts are, we can see what truly wonderful things we can accomplish with God’s gifts.
A second story:
A pastor wrote:
"I was approached by a foreign student whose relatives, with whom she was living, had become unemployed. At that time, she was called by her family saying her parents were ill and needed her help, could she return? The request came to me, could the church help? Facing a $1,000 ticket which was more than the discretionary fund in the church budget would allow, I decided to ask some individuals. Of the selected 7 individuals, 5 didn’t even want to hear all the details and said, "pastor, if you need the check, it’s yours." Of the two who had some reasons for the put-off in a couched refusal, both represented the wealthiest persons with the most means!"