Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18
Last summer in anticipation of my time in India, Ivan sent me an email suggesting I use a scripture for my teaching at the Mission India Conference. That passage was Matthew 25:14-30. When Carl sent out the Clergy schedule and I looked at the lectionary, I assumed he chose this day for me because of that passage. He, of course, had no idea that I had used that Matthew passage in India. I see this as a confirmation of how God is leading us for Sunday.
Matthew 25: 14-30 points us to a number of ideas that are important to address today. One of which is what the third servant did (and didn’t do) with the talent entrusted him. He was called “lazy” by the master and he suffered loss. It seems today people see work as a somewhat irrelevant to a healthy spiritual life or at best a necessary impediment to a full rich life. This perspective is not biblical. Further, the works of a spiritual sort (prayer, scripture reading, service, community, giving, confession, worship etc…) have in many ways atrophied from the great traditions of our past. Since we are saved by faith alone, why would I do more?
If we are to have a rich and full life, work is an essential element. In the same way, good food and exercise is essential to a healthy body so are works necessary for a healthy spiritual life. Further, through the Matthew passage God is asking “what are you doing with the gifts you have been given?” It is here we will begin our discussion.
Father Dave McDaniel