Summary: Christians can live with confidence in the reality of the Day of reckoning we will have and the salvation into the Kingdom that will follow!
February 24, 2001
Skit about Parable of the Talents
Need 15 coins & 4 ‘volunteers’. Skit is about 5 minutes in length.
The three volunteers walk up to the Master.
Master: I want to give each of you something, according to your ability. Handing 5 coins to
servant #1 Here, take these 5 coins. Then handing 2 coins to servant #2, Here you take
these 2 coins. Then handing 1 coin to servant #3, and you, take this one coin. I must go
on a long journey, but I will return some day. Master walks away.
Servant #1 I know what I will do with my 5 coins. I will start a business and help people all over
town. I’m sure my business will do very well. Servant #1 walks to teacher and gets
5 more coins.
Servant #2 I know what I will do with my 2 coins. I will invest them and earn much interest.
Servant #2 walks to teacher and gets 2 more coins.
Servant #3 I know what I will do. I do not want to lose my coin, so I will bury it in the backyard,
so nobody will steal it. Servant #3 hides under a table
The Master returns home
Master Looking at servant #1 Well, tell me, what have you done with the 5 coins I gave you
so long ago?
Servant #1 Look, you trusted me with 5 coins, and I built a nice business using them. See, here are
5 more coins, 10 in all.
Master: Well done good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things. I will put
you in charge of many things. Come share in my happiness. Then look at servant #2
Well, tell me, what have you done with the 2 coins I gave you so long ago?
Servant #2 Look, you trusted me with 2 coins, and I have invested them. Look here I have
gained two more, 4 in all.
Master Well done good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things. I will
put you in charge of many things. Come share in my happiness. Then looking at
servant #3 Well, tell me, what have you done with the 1 coin I gave you so long
Servant #3 I was very afraid because you are a hard man, using what others have, so I hid
the money where nobody could find it, so here it is.
Master You wicked, good for nothing, lazy servant! If you know I use what is not mine,
you should have at least put the coin in the bank in order to earn interest.
Everyone who uses what he has will be given even more, but anyone who does
use what is given to him, it will be taken away. So now give your coin to the
servant who has 10 coins, and live in darkness.
Servant #3 gives the 1 coin to servant #1, then goes back under the table.
Let’s discuss this for a bit. What are some of the lessons that we might get from this? (Open discussion- hoping for something about ‘day of reckoning’.)
What about accountability? Day of reckoning? Day of judgment?
This short skit speaks to the idea of the day of reckoning that always comes in life. For the 3 servants, there came such a day- they knew it would come because the master had said that he’d eventually come back. And knowing that, they all acted and, in the end, had slightly different outcomes because of their actions.
How do you feel about ‘the day of reckoning’? How do you feel about the idea that there is always a reckoning to be made in life, and that is something we all look forward to? How are you approaching The Day, in your life?
Paul speaks of The Day and directs us to some very important ideas to keep in mind as we look ahead to it. You might think of it as The Day of the Lord, or as Judgment Day, or as the Day of Reckoning. Whatever term you apply, it’s still a reality for us.
I remember something that happened in church one day when I was little. (Describe the squabble between my sister and I over a leather-bound hymnal that someone had left in the pew. We made a scene in our little United Church of Canada in Carroll, Manitoba, and we knew there was a reckoning to come when we got home. I still remember the looks and the wooden spoon! That hurt, but I, thankfully, learned how to behave in church- in God’s house!)
Let’s look together at some key ideas in 1 Corinthians 3, which prepare us for The Day!
I believe some of the ideas that Paul presents to us are very difficult for us in Canada in 2001. (I heard an interesting Commentary on Monday morning when returning from driving my daughters to school. There has been a great deal of comment about human rights in China, especially around our Prime Minister’s recent trade visit to China. There was incredible comment and pressure for him to chide Chinese officials about their apparent human rights’ records. However, this commentator, a Chinese lady, described the difference in cultures and religion. In the Chinese nation and Confusianist doctrine, the individual is not all important. The community is, and with so many people, sometimes it is necessary to decide in favour of the more as opposed to the individual. This is foreign to our way of thinking where we are so steeped in the importance of the individual.) Paul challenges the Corinthians, and us, with ideas that are from a different culture than ours. He challenges from God’s culture. This is significant. And it has to do with how we approach the key reality that he is bringing focus on- The Day! This is a reality that people would like to deny or to avoid, oftentimes, in our age where people don’t want to take responsibility for actions.