Sunday, November 19th, 2023- 25th -Sunday after Pentecost
The bulletin for this week may be found by looking under "downloads" at the bottom of this
Awake to the Grace of God
Linked with the reading from 1 Thessalonians and Psalm 90, Jesus’ parable of the talents invites a full-hearted response to God’s lavish gifts of faith and purpose: “Use ‘em if you’ve got ‘em!” The people of God are meant to be engaged, alert, and ready to share what we have received from our prodigally (wastefully) generous God. While the parable has sometimes been interpreted in the context of judgment, a careful reading also spotlights the beauty of the faith-generated response to God’s lavish grace.
One word for this is stewardship. Presented in light of God’s gift of faith and purpose, this “churchy” term can today be transformed to new understanding in the proclamation of the gospel text. Instead of the weight of obligation and duty we so often associate with religion, we are invited today to another way: What does it mean to be awake to the grace of God?
On the surface Jesus’ parable is a simple premise: the contrast of workers who please and workers who disappoint their master. Psalm 90 sings to us to carefully treasure our lifetimes, for there is something at stake. First Thessalonians is a letter reminding people they have exactly what they need to survive and thrive.
What does it mean to be awake to the grace of God?
In a time in history when so many people are discouraged with work, home, life, and church, a word from Jesus’ parables may be healing, enriching, and startlingly attractive. The gospel text today is an opportunity to remind the people of God that there is a depth to faith that is sustainable. In fact, beneath the parables of Jesus is a depth it will take a lifetime to unpack.
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