This sermon is dedicated to a man who did not bury his talent – David Schirmacher.
In the third story, “the parable of the talents,” Jesus expands on the nature of preparedness, by defining the mission which His disciples are to be faithfully occupied with until He comes – namely, wisely using the gifts they are given. In grace, God gives a variety of gifts to His people, and faithful use of those gifts results in further entrustment; lack of fidelity and laziness leads to spiritual atrophy. Finally the servant found not using his gift is cast into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. The severe consequence of poor stewardship serves to warn Christians who rest on their profession with no desire to serve others.
While the literal meaning of a “talent” refers to money (and there is certainly an application as to how we steward our finances), a “talent” actually illustrates any and all opportunities that God gives us now in this life for which we will give an account later. Even our time may be considered a “talent.” The Master gave no instruction as to how these “talents” were to be put to use, leaving freedom for the recipients’ creativity in their use. But they must be used and not buried. Take an inventory of the natural and spiritual gifts that God has given you. Are you using them to their fullest? If not, what is holding you back from putting them to faithful use?