We often praise the slaves who took the talents given to them by their master and doubled their value: one who turned five talents into ten and the other who turned two talents into four (Matt 25:14-30). And then there is that unfortunate slave who was given one talent and instead of investing it, he hid it in the ground, so that when the day of reckoning arrived, he only had the one talent to show for his efforts—efforts that resulted in his master calling him “wicked, lazy, and worthless” (vss. 26, 30) and having him thrown into the “outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (vs. 30). Now the capitalist within me (or the imperialist of Jesus’ day) understands this: it is all about working hard to make money for “the man” so that my lot can (ideally) improve. But I am getting tired of this frenetic drive to capitalize on all my resources and efforts in order to climb the social and economic ladder that puts me ahead of those less fortunate than me who may not have the resources and abilities I have to begin with. After all, the master in this passage gave “to each according to his ability” (vs. 15), which suggests a hierarchy of abilities and perhaps even of privilege. So, let’s turn this parable around. What if it is the “hidden talent” that we need most at this time, the talent that does not accrue financial equity, but instead accrues social equity, such as good will, kindness, generosity, hope, and healing? This humble, fearful, and timid slave resembles the “quiet majority” of middle America that often remains hidden, rarely voiced, and quietly going about their business. Instead of trying to capitalize on those bright, shiny, and monetized talents that often put us in conflict with our neighbor as we scramble to the top, let us capitalize on these hidden, humble, and communalized talents such as love, kindness, generosity, and hope that have the potential to heal our communities. Join us this Sunday in-person or Live on Facebook at 11:00 for a service titled, “The Hidden Talent.”
Matt 25:29: For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.