Read Matthew 25:14-30
Do we want to take risks for the Gospel?
Time. What happens to it? Why are we so bound by it? Why does time pass so slowly when we are young and so rapidly when we are old? Where did the time go we ask ourselves or, more likely, why am I so busy!?
Jesus was good providing difficult stories. No doubt they were are hard to hear standing in a group in Palestine as they are from our pews today. If we have sympathy for anyone in today’s Gospel reading, it is probably for the poor person who was deprived of the gift once given, just because he was shy, or reserved, or cautious.
Jesus is taking about vocation and the grace given when we accept and enter into a covenant with God. The question for us this morning is what that covenant – that commitment – that relationship really means. Temple Balsall is a comfortable and comforting place. In this place of peace we can sometimes distance ourselves from the activity of the world and indeed the church around us. Some of us may bemoan the feuding, fussing, and fighting we witness in our church, and wish people would be quiet; but apart from that, our pew is safe, and we are safe, and perhaps our willingness to sing all those hymns and say all those prayers will get us alright with God.
No this morning – prepare for Jesus to make you uncomfortable. He has a way of doing that.
When we were baptised we were tasked to be witnesses of the kingdom which is and which is to come. The word witness in Greek is the same as our word martyr. That is a bit confusing for us, because the chance of our being martyred and landing up in the Church calendar or depicted in a stained glass window is pretty slim. Life-giving doesn’t always mean dying. Those of you who are married have promised to give your lives to each other. Close friends take seriously Jesus’ words that there is no greater sign of live than to be prepared to surrender everything for the beloved.
The gift of discipleship given to us in our baptism involves our being prepared to be life-givers for Jesus. We are being asked by Jesus to give ourselves up in selfless love for God and selfless love for everyone else and for this world in which we are stewards.
There is safety in inertia.
So what risks are we to make for the Gospel? How far should our comfort zone be challenged? Would a mark of the success of this church, if we can use that language be one that people stay away from because its risks are too great?
The challenge is to you a straight forward uncomfortable challenge “Lord, give me the will to be faithful and active”.
And on a lighter note!