Vicar’s Reflection: Ordinary Sunday 33, November 19th 2017
Christians have an uneasy relationship with success, which is generally measured in monetary terms. Traditionally we are taught to have a modest view of ourselves, as commended by St Paul: “Think no more highly of yourself than you ought to...” Romans 12:3; and to regard money as the ‘root of all evil’ 1 Tim 6:10. The writer of the letter to Timothy meant that the greedy desire to accumulate money for selfish purposes was the root of evil, not money itself. Jesus affirmed our ultimate worth to God – ‘Every hair of your head is numbered”. Jesus also gave us, in the Parable of the Talents a strong affirmation of God’s missional purpose for successful enterprise. Let’s not ‘over-spiritualise’ this parable. The servants engage in commercial enterprises to generate profits. We can interpret this story to mean ‘spiritual profits’ such as the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace etc. To be clear, this is a parable of the investment of capital to generate returns. Whether this is spiritual, economic, or physical capital does not make any difference to the principle. God expects us to use the gifts given to us to produce results. God expects us to be enterprising in pursuing the goals of the Kingdom, using all the resources and means available in a way that is true to God’s purpose and mission. God provides our venture capital since all things come from God; and delights in our successes.