You Have a Talent

Merry Christmas!

If you are like many of us, you have been busy these past few weeks going from place to place visiting family, doing last minute shopping, and getting prepared for Christmas. You had a goal, a purpose, and a plan to find that perfect gift, to finish that baking, or to make Christmas extra special for some little ones in your life. In the process of all the busyness, you may have attended a Christmas service, cantata, play, or nativity. You may have read or heard several devotions or sermons that revolve around the Christ child born in a stable, laid in a manger. It is good for us to remember that the Creator of the universe came to dwell with us. Today I want to start with the Christmas story and end with a purpose and a talent…

Let’s begin in Luke 1. (Click here to read the whole chapter.)

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.

Here in verses 5-7 we are introduced to Zacharias and Elizabeth who will become the parents of John the Baptist. They had prayed many years for children but had never been blessed with a child, and like Sarah and Abraham, they were well advanced in age with no hope of ever having one. The birth of Issac was a miracle and so was the birth of John. God had a special purpose and specific plan for each of these children.

Zacharias was struck mute for the duration of Elizabeth’s pregnancy with John and when he was born they were arguing about what his name should be. Zacharias wrote his name on a tablet and was then able to speak. He broke his silence praising God and prophesying over his newborn son.

66 And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And the hand of the Lord was with him.

People wondered at the purpose and plan God had for this child.

Now let’s backtrack to verse 26.

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

Here we have the angel Gabriel appear to Mary and in verse 29 we see the first time Mary wondered at the plan and purpose God had for her.

Moving on to Luke 2, (Click here to read the whole chapter.)

We find Mary and Joseph in the stable with Mary having just given birth to Jesus and shepherds appear with this fantastic story of angels coming to them in the fields announcing the birth of the Christ child, the Messiah, and where and how to find Him.

19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 

Now Mary is pondering and wondering on the plan and purpose for her Child. We are blessed now to know “the rest of the story” so to speak but Mary had only a small bit of information and her trust in God and His plan.

I want to switch gears on you and go to the parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. Hang in there, it will make sense in the end.

14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

Okay, you may be asking, “What does this have to do with the Christmas story?”

Absolutely nothing.

However these passages do have something in common. My husband and I are entering a new, somewhat scary chapter in our lives and I was recently seeking advice from a friend who is a financial advisor. She ultimately told me that I didn’t need her services because God had already given me a ‘talent’ and I needed to decide what to do with it. She then quoted this passage from Matthew. This particular passage speaks of money and how we handle it but this can also be applied to God’s purpose and plan for our lives.

Think on this a moment. What talent has God given you? What purpose has He called you to? Whatever it is, He has also equipped you to accomplish it.

He had a purpose for Zacharias, Elizabeth, John, Joseph, Mary, Jesus, and even the lowly shepherds and He worked out every single detail. He can and will do the same for you. He gave each of these people a ‘talent’, and just like in the parable, they were given to each according to his own ability.” God entrusted Zacharias and Elizabeth with raising John, the forerunner of Jesus. He gave John the task of living a life as a recluse in the desert, preaching repentance and baptizing ultimately stepping aside to make way for Jesus’ full ministry to take place, even encouraging some of his own disciples to follow Jesus. He called Mary to carry the Messiah knowing that it could cost her life when it was found she was pregnant. He called Joseph to trust that the child was of the Holy Spirit and take Mary as his wife and raise Jesus as his own.

It doesn’t matter if you are a 14 year old girl or a 90 year old man, as long as there is breath in your lungs, God has given you stewardship of a ‘talent’.

What you do with your talent is up to you.

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