Today’s readings sent me on a rollercoaster of emotion.
First, the High.
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh. For I have hardened his heart and the heart of his courtiers, in order that I may display my signs amongst them, and that you may recount and tell your children and your children’s children how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I displayed my signs amongst them – in order that you may know that I am the Lord.'” (Exodus 10:1-2)
Brave Moses, Oppressed Israelites, Hard-Hearted Pharoah, Frightened Egyptians, and ten plagues that ultimately ended up with the Israelites being set free and delivered from Egypt. Exodus is a stunning visual display of God’s tremendous power and an epic story that showcases God’s love, protection, and providence for his people, for us, for me. It is awe-inspiring and it sends my faith soaring in the one and true God.
Now, the low.
12 So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then to return. 13 And he called ten of his own slaves and gave them ten [e] minas, and said to them, ‘Do business with this money [f] until I come back.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be summoned to him so that he would learn how much they had made by the business they had done. 16 The first slave appeared, saying, ‘ [g] Master, your [h] mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave; since you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to have authority over ten cities.’ 18 The second one came, saying, ‘Your [i] mina, [j] master, has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 And then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept tucked away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He *said to him, ‘ [k] From your own lips I will judge you, you worthless slave.” (Luke 19:12-22)
The minas in the parable, I believe, are representative of gifts, talents and resources God gives us to do the work of the Kingdom on Earth. The first two slaves who received the King’s minas made good use of them, but the third servant did just the opposite. He was afraid to take risks and truly use the resources entrusted to him. His fears made him take the greatest risk of all: doing nothing.
As I read Luke 19:12-22, my heart was pierced, and the high I had from reading Exodus plummeted because of some sobering questions that started to creep into my heart. Which slave am I? Am I the slave that kept the mina hidden away in a handkerchief? If so, why? If I say I know and believe in the God of Exodus who is faithful to love, provide and protect his beloved people and who sent His son to die for us, then why would I not be like the first slave, who was devoted to and obedient to his master’s words which resulted in him multiplying his
minas? God is faithful to provide answers if we simply ask Him.
Father God, Please keep my heart from being afraid to do the things You have called me, equipped me, and entrusted me to do for Your kingdom and Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.