Friday, November 13 2020
“Emily Dickinson is a famous American poet who lived a rather unusual life. As an adult she rarely left her home and during the time that she lived “hidden away” she preferred wearing white dresses. She wrote nearly two thousand poems, but she hid most of her poems away as well. Only five of her poems were published during her lifetime. After she died her sister found her poems and they were published into books of poetry. How fortunate for the world that her poems were found and that others valued them enough to see that they were published. All of the poems of Emily Dickinson have now been published and thousands of readers take pleasure in the beauty and rhythm of her words” (Richard Donovan).
In today’s Gospel, each disciple is given a sum of talents. A talent in Jesus’ time was a very large sum of money. Multiply your annual income by 15 and you will have a relative idea about the value of a talent in the first century. The first steward is given 5 talents. He is able to double the money before the man returns from his journey. The second steward is given 2 talents and also doubles the value while the man is away. The man says to the first steward, “Well done good and trustworthy servant, you have been trustworthy in a few things, I put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.” The man says to the second steward, “Well done good and trustworthy servant, you have been trustworthy in a few things, I put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.” The man has the exact same response whether the stewards make 2 or 5 talents. What is important is what you make of what you’ve been given. The third steward is given 1 talent and is so afraid of the man, he hides the talent and gives it back to the man when he returns. The man is very disappointed with the third steward and takes away what he has and throws him out in the cold. Our lesson for today is that living in fear can hold us back from God’s plan. Perhaps Emily Dickinson did not think her poems were worthy of publishing. Thank God that her sister knew the value of her gift.
In today’s Covid environment, we are tempted to live in fear and not continue with our mission or our ministry at St. John’s. Jesus tells us that we all have been given gifts and talents and we are called to use our gifts and talents in God’s service. When everyone is deepening their relationship with God and one another, we are following God’s plan. Zoom services are not like being at St. John’s. I miss giving the Holy Eucharist to all our parishioners. I miss the pancakes and the feeling of family at St. John’s coffee hours. I miss all the kids running around at church. I will miss not being with my brothers, nephews, and nieces on Thanksgiving. But we must focus on our ministry and mission at St. John’s to insure that we are healthy when we come our of this pandemic. Please send your pledge card into the church this week so the vestry can make plans for next year. I know times are tough, but we really need every member of our church to share their time, talent, and treasure in 2021. Our mission is to know Christ and make him known. Together, we can be steadfast in our mission in St. John's 276th year.
In Christ’s love,