by Pastor Jeff
To everyone who has, more will be given and he will have an abundance. But that one who has nothing even what he has will be taken away" Mt 25:29 - The parable of the talents
Imagine looking under the Christmas tree one Christmas and seeing a mountain of presents.....it looks as though there are presents for everyone in your family and enough to make even the grumpiest child happy. The presents are big and they are wrapped beautifully. There are huge bows on each one of them and a card with with the names to whom they are about to be given.
And there are five presents with your name on the cards! Huge presents! Well wrapped and ready to be opened by you....everyone in the family is excited. Your siblings are jumping up and down! One by one each of the presents gets opened.....except yours. Your siblings are excited! They are looking at their presents, playing with their presents, learning how to use their presents...
But you have decided not to open yours. Why? Can't you see how much fun your siblings are having with the gifts that have been given to them? The joy in their hearts and in their eyes as they play with one another with the gifts that have been given them?
Your brothers and sisters look at you like there's a screw loose in your head. Who wouldn't want to open such magnificent gifts as these? It is so much fun guessing what is inside and then ripping the paper open! It's a blast to learn how to use the gifts that have been given to you. And it is so much fun sharing what gifts you have and playing together with your brother and sister.
Your parents are confused too. They went out together to secure just the perfect gifts for you. Gifts that reflected your personality and style. Gifts that would help you become more of who you are and bring joy to your life and your world in using them.
But apparently..... you prefer to look at your gifts. To simply admire the way that they're wrapped. To know that your parents gave you the best gifts in the world but not know exactly what they are. Then you hide them away in the basement closet thinking that maybe 30 or 40 years from now you can pull those presents out and show your parents that you still have them. Certainly your parents will be impressed that you still have these gifts just the way they were given to you - unopened, unused, still with the pretty paper, card and bough........right?
God (and the children of God too!) scratches his head a lot about you and I when God thinks about all the gifts God gives each one of us. Such beautiful gifts, given with care and attention to detail. Gifts that reflect our personality and style. Gifts that would help us become more of who we are and bring joy to our life in using them. But we leave them unopened, undiscovered, un-played with. We hide God's gifts away, thinking that if we can just keep the gifts of God looking the way God gave them to us that it will count for something.
But it doesn't count. Not for anything. Unless you open and use the gifts that God has given you, all that present is is an unused future life of joy - a life that could have been- wrapped up in a pretty box.
Have you opened all your presents? Ripped open the paper and learned how to use all the cool things God has given you? Shared your joy with the world full of other people who are sharing their joy with the gifts that God has given them?
Remember, to those who have received many gifts, even more gifts -joy, satisfaction, community-will be given in using those gifts. But if you never open your box, forget about the extra gifts. Because if you don't open the box it will feel like even the gifts God give you are being taken away…