Christ's parable with regards the giving of bags of Gold to the servants (Matt. 25.14-30) refers to monetary investment but let's just change the perspective and think in terms of the gifts that are given to us by God. We are all given gifts of one sort or another. We may think of them as things that we ourselves have developed over time, something we seem to be extraordinarily good at, or just something that we are asked for each and every day. Often we hide these things that we are good at and only allow a few people know. Even if it is a simple thing it is a gift given to us from God. Trouble is we do not see the investment potential in these things. They are just abilities that we have nothing more. More often then not we allow them to lie idle for months on end or even years. All of a sudden somebody says something and Auntie Ada knows all about it. We all turn around and say "AUNTIE ADA!!" with astonishment. In the long run when we consider community and the way of life that a Christian needs to lead it is this hidden asset that is important and needs to be cultivated just like the monetary investment we make for our old age.
An extraordinary gift given in love rejected with scorn
Just as much our own gifts are not invested in, except poorly, our spiritual gifts are even less wisely invested. We lack the time and the interest to invest any amount of improvement on our own spiritual well being. As a result we are poorly prepared for any involvement in activities that are of a spiritual nature. We turn aside from the pursuits that our parents and grandparents found so satisfying and involve ourselves in those things that at the end of the day bring no benefit to the soul. We are much like the servant who buries the gift and gives back only what was given. We are asked to surrender ourselves totally, instead we halfheartedly give to God what God has given to us. We now approach Advent a time for preparation, a time that allows us to ensure that we are ready to meet God in the incarnation. This is the time when we need to start to invest some thought and time into our spiritual and emotional investments. If we cannot allow ourselves to do that then we are no longer walking the way that God wishes us to walk. This means that we all have to bring our gifts to share with each other and with God. As a recent post said "God did not call the Lone Ranger he called the twelve apostles". This means that we are in this together as a community. Our investment must be in our compassion, our justice and our willingness to be what God wants us to be.
Unlike the person given the least we must not be afraid of the consequences of investing. There are risks as with any investment but the rewards are God's to give and ours to receive. Yet in fear and trembling we hide away and do not offer our gifts to friends, family and community thinking only of the benefits for us. The other reason we do this is because we are also so judgemental of others. Deborah did not judge Barak (Judges 4.1-10) she just advised him of God's gift to others who would use the gift that he spurned. Are we willing to spurn the gifts of God and judge those around us who use theirs. How often I wonder have we sniggered over someones ability because it is not to our standard, perhaps it is to God's standard and that is all that matters.