Use It or Lose It

  • “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
  • “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
  • “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
  • “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
  • “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
  • “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
  • “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
  • “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
  • What shall we learn from this story about the kingdom of heaven?

    Like the early stories, it is the place where we live. And it is the master we serve. And there are people who follow the master and people who do not.

    And some put their time, talents, and energy to use to make the kingdom better. And some are lazy, fearful, unimaginative and therefore hide.

    I’ve been thinking of Advent as a time to prepare for the coming of the kingdom of heaven. Of course, that happened when Jesus came and announced it. But Jesus “went away” and will “return” as this story suggests.

    Will he find us living the values of the kingdom of heaven, and thereby reaping the fruit of the spirit? Or, will he find us hiding in our fears and emotions and thereby not living a fulfilled life?

    Looks like we get a choice–use it, or lose it.

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