Life is a gift. Or so I have been told. I didn't come to realize how much my life was a gift until I was about 26 years old. I was serving Faith Lutheran Church in Bellaire, TX. My parents came to visit me. We had some time with my supervising pastor, when my mother begins to unfold the story of how we both almost died when I was born. How my father was almost asked if he had a choice to save one of us, would it be my mother or me. It was all too frightening and all too real. How did I not ever hear this story? My mother then began to tell Herb (as if I wasn't in the room) the prayer she had from the time I was born to the time I entered seminary; 'Lord, use the life of my son to be a reflection of your love." Basically she prayed that I would become a pastor, which, was more likely her prayer than the one I composed on her behalf.
Since that time in my office at Faith Lutheran Church, I realized that life is a gift. It becomes part of my story. It is part of God's story. "I wasn't supposed to be here." When I utter those words I realize that my life is a gift....one not to be squandered or hidden. That is the story that Jesus tells in the parable of the talents. It is one that troubles us and at the same time excites us. Talent as it is intended here is best translated as 'special gift." Jesus tells this parable as the man going on a journey, he is away. He entrusts specific gifts to specific servants. One of these servants does nothing with the special gift he has been given. the others are praised for taking a risk and using those gifts.
Jesus point is that before the Son of Man returns disciples are called to use the special gifts that they have been given in faithful service to the kingdom.
What special gifts are you blessed with?
When was a time you may have missed the opportunity to use that gift?