The Parish of Burchetts Green

This month Rev Keith writes about


Being trustworthy

In the parable, the talent is not a 'gift' to do with what we like with. It's a responsibility to contribute as a result of a gift. The key word in the story is 'trustworthy.' 'Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have been trustworthy in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.' The reward for being trustworthy is joy; the joy of being accepted into God's presence.

So the key question for us is how trustworthy are we with the abilities that God has given to us. Have we used them for the benefit of his kingdom? That applies to all our abilities, not just those we might consider to be 'spiritual' or 'religious.' We find it easy to think of gifting in prayer, or Bible teaching, or evangelism as abilities that God's given for use in the church; but the same is true of practical abilities such as catering, gardening or decorating. When Paul lists the charismata, the so-called 'Spiritual Gifts,' he intertwines obviously 'supernatural' gifts such as 'prophecy' or 'tongues' with what we might consider to be 'natural' gifting such as 'hospitality' or 'administration. There's no distinction. Jesus was a carpenter not a mystic. He chose fishermen as his closest friends not priests.

Reflection for action

Lent, which begins on March 1, is a season of self-reflection which should lead to action. Have you 'talents' which are dormant, 'talents' which could be used to help in the building up of the Church? We are always glad to hear from people looking to give of their talents so please, don't be coy, come and have a chat with me, one of the ministry team or the churchwardens. May I wish you all a rich and rewarding Lent

We are all shaped for serving God. God has specially designed us for the role he wants us to play. You are a work of art not the product of an assembly line - God does not make junk. You are unique, with a unique role to play in God's purposes.

All have talents

We all have 'talents': natural abilities; the things that come most easily to us. All abilities can be used for God's glory. God calls us to do what we are able to do; not what we can't - or not " normally anyway. Whatever we're good at, we should be doing for the kingdom of God. Pretty straight forward, isn't it?

Yet, for a variety of reasons, we can be reluctant to do what we are gifted to do. We feel we are too busy. We may be coy about it, we don't like to blow our own trumpet. We feel we should wait to be asked rather than volunteer. Or, maybe, we've suggested something in the past, but had no comeback, and so have given up.

A warning!

But be warned! Jesus, in his 'Parable of the Talents', uses very vivid language about God's attitude to those who refuse to use what He's given them... wicked and lazy...heading for 'outer darkness’ 'weeping' and 'gnashing of teeth.' Not nice! Best avoided I think.

Maybe we feel that we are not as naturally gifted as some others. Whether or not this is really so, the parable makes it clear that whatever we've been given must be used. The person with two talents receives exactly the same commendation from the master as the one with five. It's only because the person with one talent does nothing with it that he's condemned.