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Reflection Luke 19 11-28 Psalm 150 Revelation 4 Nov 16
11 ¶ While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.
12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.
13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’
14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’
15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.
16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’
17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’
19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’
20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.
21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’
22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?
23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’
24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’
25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’
26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.
27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be a king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”
28 ¶ After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
One criticism that non-believers level at the Church, is that all it seems to talk about is sex. They see its stand on homosexuality as not fitting in with their view of freedom of choice and fairness. Actually, Jesus doesn’t mention issues about sex much at all. What he does talk a lot about are Kingdom values. And he uses money as an example.
We are uncomfortable talking about money. We don’t tell other people how much we earn. If we have a lot, it seems like we are bragging. If we are poor, it seems like we are feeling sorry for ourselves. On the internet you can read the earnings of executives in big companies in the United States of America. Earning a big wage is a recognition of how important the person is in the company. It states value in monetary terms. Whereas British people are depicted as apologising for who we are, seemingly always supporting the under-dog.
In today’s reading, Jesus looks at what people do with the money they are entrusted with. The parable uses this to point us into considering what we do with the talents that God has given us. If we consider that one talent which God has given us is sharing, then what is this parable saying to us now?
What ever your view on climate change, it is patently obvious that the wealthy nations are not sharing their wealth with the poorer ones. First the Industrial Revolution and then the Technological Revolution have changed our lives dramatically. But now we are becoming much more aware of how desperate the lives of some people are when there is drought, or too much rain.
We go on and on about the need for electricity. Most days I seem to get something through the post box telling me I need some new broadband connection. Everywhere there are new white vans with men in high visibility jackets putting new wires through the footpaths.
However, I remember one time when there was a power cut and it resulted in the local water pumping station not working. Suddenly, it was very obvious that it wasn’t the lack of electricity that was a problem. Much more important, was the lack of water! It may be raining a lot at the moment, but the reservoirs are very low.
We see the adverts for Water Aid with the children shown drinking awful coloured unhealthy water that they have to draw up from a well. We can only begin to imagine the thought of drinking muddy water full of diseases.
In today’s parable, Jesus challenges each one of us to think about how we use our talents.
you long for the world’s salvation:
stir us from apathy,
restrain us from excess
and revive in us new hope
that all creation will one day be healed
in Jesus Christ our Lord.