The Daily Office | February 16, 2018
Psalms 79, 80, 81
Psalms 82, 83, 84, 85
Collect: Ash Wednesday
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The parable of the talents is familiar to all of us. We’ve heard this story from childhood, most of the time with the same interpretation: “We have to use the talents and gifts that God has given us well, or they will be taken away from us. Don’t squander the abilities God has given you.”
But what if our special skills and natural aptitudes aren’t the only thing Jesus had in mind here? Sure, it’s true enough that we shouldn’t waste those things. But there is one gift we’ve been given that is more valuable than anything else in the world—the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I think it could be beneficial for us to consider that as what the talents represent. We have all been given this gift, and it is our privilege and responsibility to reproduce this gift in the lives of others!
And if we fail to do this—if we hide the gift we have received because we’re afraid of how people might react, what might happen to our familial relationships, our friendships, or our professional careers—we have totally misunderstood this freeing, saving, beautiful gift. The gospel is the gift that is meant to be given away.