The Parable of the Talents
Jesus tells a story of a man trusting his servants with different amounts of talents (bags of gold). To one, he leaves 5, one gets 2, and one get 1. He comes back to find the one with 5 doubled it to 10, the one with 2 doubled it to 4. But the one with 1 buried it, and returned only what he had. The boss was mad that he didn’t even get interest and fired him.
God trusts us to take what he has given us and to use it to make the world better.
Questions for Family Time:
1.Tell me the story you heard today.
a. (see above)
2. What are some things God has trusted you with?
a. (this is a personal answer.)
3.How can you use them to make the world better?
a. (similar answer to above)
There is definitely a sense in this parable about the physical things God entrusts to us. It is after all followed by the parable in which we are told to feed the hungry, clothe the needy, care for the sick and imprisoned. There is definitely a sense of sharing what God has given us to make the whole world better. This idea is what we call stewardship. It is the idea that all we have his really God’s and we have a responsibility to use if for God’s purposes. We are stewards, managers if you would, of God’s stuff.
But, I think this parable goes beyond calling us to give material goods to God’s causes. I think our talents might actually refuse the giftedness and uniqueness that God has put in each of us. Perhaps it is because talents has changed in language from meaning money to mean abilities and gifts. God doesn’t just hold us to account for our money or material goods. He expects us to use who he made us to be for his kingdom.
This second understanding is what we are going to focus on during Junior Group. Each one of these kids is unique with unique gifts and talents that can use for God’s kingdom. I am going to be inviting them to think about who they are, and what natural “talents” they have and how they might use them to make God’s world better.
I also want to encourage you to reflect on your talents and how you are a steward of them. Also, I want to encourage you to think out of the box. God often views our weaknesses as talents. I think about Nick and one story time when I asked the kids to help him focus because he had ADHD and a young boy excitedly shared he did too, and sat down beside him. Nick was able to use what we often think of as a deficit to help a child experience God’s love.
There is a line from the old Spiderman movies that really is at the heart of our lesson this week: with great power comes great responsibility. We may not be able to climb walls or save the world from evil super villains, but God has entrusted with each of us power. And he calls us to use that power for his kingdom.
What are your talents? How do you use them for God’s kingdom?