The Holy Gospel: November 13, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 25:14-30

Meditation:  “God’s Mathematics”

Growing up in a world of addition and subtraction, we naturally think that “more is more” and “less is less.”  In a world of numbers, 5 is more than 2, and 2 is more than 1.

In a world of self-awareness, we can think “mathematically” as well.  The multi-talented person is “better” than the person with fewer gifts.  And even though our best thoughts tell us otherwise, we find it hard not to compare ourselves with others with the “more is better” mindset.  Trouble is, we can always find someone who is “more talented” than we are—and hence, allegedly “better.”

It’s only when we enter the world of God’s mathematics that we are challenged to think differently.  There is no hint that the awarding of talents was based on any sense of superiority among the three people who were given them.

In God’s mathematics, it is not about amount; it’s about investment.  “Use what you have been given,” is God’s command.  We are not to spend one second in second-guessing—not one moment in comparing ourselves with others.  We only have one assignment—to take what we have been given and use it for the glory of God.

There is one place where regular math and God’s math overlap.   Every number can be multiplied—that is, every number except zero.  And no one is a “zero.”  So….take what you have and multiply it.  That’s something every one of us can do!  And when we do, we will all hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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