In contemplating the continuing Covid pandemic in her virtual sermon this week, Marketors’ Chaplain The Reverend Canon Dr Alison Joyce was reminded of the last international crisis we faced.
She recalled the financial meltdown of 2007/8, which occurred whilst she was in her previous parish. Many parishioners were distraught with losses they suffered and some family companies, cherished over generations, became bankrupt. The Parable of the Talents, the subject of this Sunday’s Gospel Reading, felt particularly cruel at the time.
For it was this parable in which a Master gave 3 servants respectively 5, 3 and 1 Talents and asked them to invest for profit. The first two servants invested and doubled their money. The third buried the Talent and returned it to the Master without gain. This resulted in the first two keeping the cash but the third had the money removed by the Master and given to the first, most successful servant.
The moral of this tale was “To all who have, more will be given. For all those with nothing, what they have will be taken away.” This rather unexpected conclusion was, Alison said, designed to shock us. Christ had deliberately focussed on money whilst the true meaning of the parable was faith and love. To offer love is to put us at risk of rejection, but that’s what we’re asked to do. The effects of love only grow, not reduce – compassion and support do make a difference.
But if we have love and hide it because we are afraid, it will be lost completely.