September 2

September 2
by Pastor Jonna

“Taking a Risk”

Read: Matthew 25:14 – 30

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells his disciples parables about the kingdom of God and of his coming at the end of the age. In these verses, he tells of a man going on a journey and entrusting his property to them. He gives three servants divisions of his property, depending on their ability. To one, he gives five talents. To another, he gives three talents. To another, he gives one talent. In response, the first two invest and double the money, and the third hides the money in the ground. When the master returns, he is pleased with the first two and is disgusted with the third. He has this “wicked, lazy servant” thrown into the darkness, where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Leave it to Matthew to end this parable in dramatic fashion!)

For quite a while, I could not comprehend why this master would be so harsh with the third servant. He had the least ability (as stated from the beginning), so he was only given one talent. He was afraid and hid his talent. In light of all this, why should the master be so cruel to him?

While exploring this text a year ago, I was fascinated to recognize that each servant received what he expected. The first two expected the master to be pleased with them, and the third expected the master to be harsh. Each was right. If then the third had expected the master to be pleased with him and therefore take a risk like the others, he too would have received affirming words.

As we consider our lives, we can recognize that the thoughtful risks we have taken have been centered in confidence. “I know that I am a gifted person and work hard. I can do this.” “If I don’t succeed in this venture, I will survive and become a better person because of it.” “My life is not defined by what I do or how much money I make; I can take a risk and do something different.” “I know that whatever may happen, what God wants for my life is better than any plan I can create, so I am open to whatever that may be.”

The first two servants were confident in the master, and therefore took a risk. What a terrific example for us!

I was so pleased with the terrific show of confidence that you all made on Sunday – the show of unity and support, the readiness to step into this new season with a new lead pastor, the confidence to take a risk because God is good. It’s a risk to step out and take on new leadership, a new shepherd for this church. It will come with change, and sometimes that won’t be so comfortable. But it’s inevitable and necessary. And with joy and confidence, you stepped forward to enthusiastically support this change. What a wonderful gift!

Holy God, we thank You for Your goodness and provision. We thank You for the church’s confidence to move into this new season because of Your goodness and faithfulness. We pray that You would prepare both the pastor and us to receive one another well and to follow the Spirit’s voice with joy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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