How mundane it has all got. Not facile. Not without its purpose. But really, altogether mundane.
The parable of the talents is such a good example. And so many worthy parsons have risen to their feet, and looked down at their congregation from the dizzying heights of their pulpit, and have talked about talents, and hiding our lights under a bushel, and encouraging us to really be frightfully aware of our God-given talents, and to jolly well develop them and use them. And it’s all good and worthy stuff. But I am afraid it is not what the parable of the talents is actually about. Oh dear me no. The parable of the talents is much bigger than that. In fact, it is one of the most powerful passages in the entire New Testament. Because the parable of the talents is about where people were two thousand years ago, in terms of their understanding of religion and what they had to do; and it is about where we are now, in terms of our understanding of religion and what we need to do. And that is HUGE!
We all know the story. It is in Matthew 25:14-30. The master was going away, so he gave sums of money (talents) to his servants. Two of those servants took risks with their talents, and so when their master returned they were able to give back to their master twice as much as he had initially given them. However, the third servant was so frightened of his master, he saw him as ‘a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter. I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth.’ The master was pleased with the first two servants, but seriously displeased with the servant who was frightened of him, and who thereby buried his talent and did nothing with it.
Now at one level we certainly can learn about how we should enhance our God-given talents. No doubt about that. But this parable is actually about...