I'm really searching the deep recesses of my brain to remember how I've heard this passage from Matthew 25.14-30 preached in the past, and, to be quite honest, I'm not sure I can find it. So for the first time I can think of, I will be preaching a text without my set of preaching parents hovering in the background. Sure, I'll do the research that I always do, but to not her the voices of the priests I have known and respected in my past feels very strange.
Fortunately, I work for/with a priest who I respect greatly, and though I've never heard him preach this text, he and I heard it speaking the same things to us after last night's vestry meeting. You see, dear reader, Sunday is our annual parish meeting, and it seems like a bad time to preach an angry message to "the wicked slaves who have done nothing with the gifts God has given them." And even if it weren't annual meeting and the beginning of stewardship season, I couldn't preach that sermon because so many of our people are doing so much. Our kids have reached out to the people of Mississippi with hammers and nails and to the people of north Alabama with money. Our adults are reaching out to this community by tutoring the least - kindergarteners and first grader; they are giving hope to the hopeless by hosting, feeding, and talking with the homeless in Baldwin County; they are supporting one another in times of illness and/or crisis. To whom much has been given, much is required, and I think we are living up to that great blessing and huge responsibility. Because we have been faithful with a little, I feel certain that God will give us even more, which will mean more blessings and bigger responsibilities, but to be honored by God as he trusts us with is resources is the greatest blessing a community can have.