Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Taking Risks for the Kingdom of God

Matthew 25: 14-30

It's incredibly easy to do the wrong thing with this week's gospel text, to fall into that trap of reading through the assumptions of 21st century Americans who survive within a system of capitalism. So when Jesus tells this parable about those who invested being rewarded and the one who didn't invest being punished, it's all to easy for us to say, "Yes, it only makes sense."

But therein lies the problem. Jesus' parables didn't necessarily make sense in the way we think of making sense. There was always a twist. There was always something that made his audience stop and think, "Wait a minute! Did he say what I think he said?"

And so we might find that Jesus' original audience were not 21st Century American capitalists. They were not indeed. And principles of investment were not the same then. In that day and time, investing with the bankers was the unsafe thing to do, the risky thing to do, perhaps the wrong thing to do for someone who valued their master's holdings.

Jesus is talking about doing the wrong things for the right reasons. He's talking about taking risks, doing what might be socially looked down upon, doing what is unsafe for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

Dan Mayes

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