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Advent Reflections: Got Talent?


[Editor's note: This Advent season, Bread Blog will be running a series of reflections written by lay members of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.  This post is reprinted, with permission,  from the church's 2013 Advent Meditations booklet.]

By Jenean McKay

Lectionary readings:

Isaiah 2:12-12
Matthew 25:14-30
I Thessalonians 5:1-11

The parable in Matthew about the master leaving each of his servants with different amounts of talent, and how they used them, made me think of how we use our own talents. I’m using the word "talent" to mean both our individual abilities and money.

As we respond to our calling as Christians to use our talents for the Lord’s work, I wonder if we are afraid of taking risks. Afraid if we give too much money, we won’t have enough for ourselves.  Or, afraid that our skills won’t match up to what needs to be done.  Are we trying to bury our talents?  Maybe we want to be safe?  All these thoughts have gone through my mind as I think of my gifts to the church.

But the Isaiah passage reminds us that if we live humbly, and do not get into building up man-made idols or our own image, God will take care of that kind of competition.  And in Thessalonians, Paul gives us the model for living our lives: “But, since we belong to the light, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation….Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your unending love and faith in us. Give us the courage to use our talents bravely and to give a grateful response to your son’s giving his life for us. Amen

Jenean McKay is a member of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, in Washington, D.C.


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