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Risks of Abundance

“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 
Matthew 25:14-18, NRSV

Do we live out of abundance or scarcity? It is easy to live out of a sense of scarcity, guarding closely what we have and not risk sharing or even investment. In this Gospel reading from Matthew, Jesus opens with “ It is as if…” The “it” He is describing is the Kingdom of Heaven and He goes on to tell the story of a man entrusting his property to his slaves while he is away on a journey. The beginning of the story (vv. 14-18) sets up the situation, with the three slaves receiving three different amounts. Two use what they receive to make more money, but the one who is given the least buries his money and returns only what he received. The parable ends with the man praising the two slaves who made money and berating the fearful slave who buried his money in the earth.

The point of the parable is not about risk-taking with wealth, but with what we have through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Will we live in fear, holding tight to what we have and so not take any risks because of uncertainty about what the future will bring? Or will we share it generously and take risks of love? We are called to live with an attitude of abundance, knowing that in sharing the love of God that we have been given, that love which we receive will not be diminished, but increases. When it comes to sharing the love of God in Jesus Christ, sharing the Kingdom of Heaven, will you, today, live out of the abundance given to us?

A Prayer for Today:
Generous Giver, You pour forth Your extravagant bounty without measure upon Your whole creation: Teach us such generosity, that the fruits of our spirits and the works of our hands may build Your commonwealth of blessing. Amen. (Daily Prayer for All Seasons, pg. 123)
The Rev. Lisa D. Neilson
Associate for Pastoral Care and Women's Ministries
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