“Invest or Miss Out”
Adams United Methodist Church
Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church
Pastor Missy McCarthy
Music: Sue& Craig Gamet, Mike Tyo, Sharon DelSignore
November 15, 2020 24rd Sunday after Pentecost
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Have you ever been really nervous about something? Like really, really scared about it and get yourself all worked up about it and then it wasn’t what you thought? I was so worried about my flu shot. I know I hate shots. I don’t like to go to the doctor. I kept worrying about it and avoiding it and finally at the beginning of the week, I didn’t want to put it off any longer because we were already in November and I wanted to go see my nephew for Thanksgiving if we can….so I did it. I ended up going into Kinney’s and got my flu shot….and guess what – it wasn’t bad. It really didn’t hurt and it wasn’t even sore the next day. I had gotten it completely wrong. That was what Jesus was trying to help the servants understand. He was giving them something even more precious than one day with their family, he was giving them the Kingdom of God – a huge gift. Just like he gives us that gift. He wanted them to understand how important it was to really put their whole effort into it. The first two focused on what the master was doing, how generous he was and how daring he had been and was trying to be like him. The third was scared – so scared that he just buried the money and pretended he never had seen it. That was why he got in trouble; he didn’t even bother putting it in the bank. He pretended he had not been trusted at all he was so scared. When we let fear take over our, we lose out on where God is working, and we miss out on all the good things that are happening right now. This week every time you start to get scared and mad, pray and ask God to show you where you can find God working? Where can you find joy, just like the first two servants did. Let’s pray together.
Reflection: “Invest or Miss Out”
Jesus is trying to get his disciples to understand what is going to be happening soon. He wants them to be ready and so he is telling them these stories from last week and this week, so they know what to expect. He is reminding them what the Kingdom of God is like. That this kingdom is so very valuable, and it is trusted to us. Think on that for a moment – God is trusting the Kingdom on Earth to us to help God with it….
I don’t think we truly understand the value of this gift. The translation says bags of gold. The NIV says Talent – which was a unit of measure, which was worth about 20 years wages. For the first servant that meant that he was responsible for 100 years wages! That would have been unheard of and unthinkable! The next was given 2 talents or 40 years wages and the last one talent or 20 years wages! No matter which one you were it was an exorbitant amount of money – it was more money than any one servant would be trusted with during a normal amount of time and yet each were trusted with it based on their skills and abilities. This is like the Kingdom – they each have more than enough, plenty and more to spare, abundance and generosity.
The first two servants follow the models of the master. They invest, they risk, and they work to further the Kingdom with all that they have, they are willing to give it a shot and are greeted with joy and celebration by the master– it doesn’t matter how little or big the amount the same response is had. Joy simply abounds. They have a party and rejoice.
It is when the last servant lets fear get in the way we see the difference. He doesn’t seem to see the true nature of the master. He sees a dim profile of the master, not the full picture. He misses the abundance of the gift he was given, the trust that was given to him and the hope that was placed in him. He does not emulate the master, or even try or attempt by putting it simply in a bank. He runs and hides in fear and shame and buries what he has, deep and in the back yard, not spending, investing, or even letting the light of day touch it. He lives in fear.
How many of us do that – run in fear. Fear is the enemy of good. Fear is the enemy of hope, of justice, of light, of love. When we fear we make no room for love, no room for hope. Fear is like a dark blanket snuffing out the good. It just simply won’t let us see it. It robs us of the places we can see the joy and the good in others and ourselves. It robs us of possibility. I wonder what the servant could have done with his one talent if had simply not let fear rob him of life? Is fear robbing you? Do you let fear into the front door? Does it sneak in the back door through comments of others, self-doubt, or simply not trusting our master – Jesus Christ to be enough – that he has us and is good and generous? How can you face fear this week by loving yourself? By loving another? By investing in someone you would normally not?
Jesus is giving his disciples a choice – in the kingdom of God there is not room for fear. If you choose to fear, go elsewhere, but if you want to work with me on the Kingdom, let’s get working on hope and love. Are you ready to work on the Kingdom? Are you willing to invest all of yourself for the Kingdom of God that you have been entrusted with?
Monday – 1 John 4:4-21
Tuesday – Luke 12:16-40
Wednesday – 2 Timothy 1:6-14
Thursday – Judges 4:1-7
Friday – Psalm 76
Saturday – Psalm 123
Announcements and Updates
● All Small groups are canceled for the week of November 22-29