Saturday, 30 August 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

Today's gospel reading sounds scary, as in if-you-don't-use-your-God-given-talents-you're-not-only-going-to-lose-it-but-also-your-pass-to-Heaven scary. This is as the servant who didn't invest what his master gave him was punished by having what was given him taken away and he thrown into the outer darkness, which can be presumed to mean Hell. But such a reading forgets the other two servants, the ones who invested their talents wisely and got amply rewarded. This is why we need guidance from God to understand the Bible. It's human to be afraid and to have a fight-or-flight response to anything remotely scary. But the Bible isn't meant to scare people into doing good things. We need to integrate the scary parts, the good parts, and all other parts into a saving whole, and the only way to do that fully and all the time is to let God help us through His Holy Spirit. Let Him tell you how to read the Bible.

Anyway, back to today's reading. We were not told why the first two servants used the money given to them in the way they did. But we were told why the third servant chose to hide the money given to him. He considered his master to be an unfair person who would not reward him for his efforts. If he would not be rewarded then why take the trouble, right? This is exactly what God doesn't like in us. He doesn't like people coming up with strange notions about Him, acting as if those notions were proven facts, and use those notions to do either nothing or wrong things. We know our God is a loving God. We know that he wants us to have fullness of life. We know that He doesn't want us to hurt ourselves or others. We know that He wants us to depend on Him to help us in living our life on earth. Thus thinking that He set us tests just to see if we would fall or not and that He will not reward us abundantly and justly for our efforts to please Him is plain wrong. So let us not be like the third servant. Let us offer our time, talents and treasures to Him who gave them to us in the first place and use them righteously, trustingly, and faithfully.

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