Those of you who know me even marginally well, know that I love my boys. Luc is a 14 year old Bichon Frise, and Oscar is a 15 year old Maltese. For Christmas one year I received a new T-shirt from an animal rescue site called “Advice from a DOG”.
This advice includes the following:
Delight in the simple joys of a long walk
Unleash your talents
Hide your favorite snack
Make new friends
Learn new tricks, no matter your age
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them
Now, I might suggest that we “share our favorite snack” instead, but the others are pretty good advice! We can learn a lot from our four-legged friends as this poem by Amy Dean reminds us:
Each day comes to your dog new and fresh and full of promise; your dog is not bounded by days of the week, business meetings, deadlines, and commitments that prevent you from looking forward to the day.
Perhaps it’s time to start today to adopt more of your canine’s outlook on life. Each morning can be a new beginning – a time for joy and play, a time for fresh air and sunshine, a time for bounding around, a time of canine delight!
Advice from Martin Luther – Remember Your Baptism
As we start this new ministry together, may our animals inspire us to start each day anew. Martin Luther emphasized that it is important to begin each day by remembering our baptism. When we awaken, we are to make the sign of the cross and remember that God has claimed and sealed us in baptism. Each day we are given a new start, a new beginning. The old is washed away. We are made new each day in Christ.
Advice From God
With a little adaptation, our T-shirt advice could easily shift from “Advice from a DOG” to “Advice from GOD”.
In other words:
Trust in me with all your heart and soul and mind.
Delight in My creation while strengthening your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Use the gifts and talents I have given you to benefit the common good.
Share your favorite snack and your cloak and your tunic.
Make room for everyone.
Welcome others as you have welcomed me.
Be creative for the sake of the Gospel because you all have the capacity for spiritual growth regardless of your chronological age.
Like the Father who ran to meet his prodigal son, run to greet those returning home.
Receive others with the grace with which I have received you.
So let’s together feel God’s unfailing presence, embrace the gift of each moment with joy and anticipation.
Peace and Joy,
Pastor Tim, Sharon, Luc, and Oscar
Okay, let’s pause from our day and think about this question for a minute.
If the world were to end today, what have we done with the gifts that God has given to us? What have we done with the gift of the church? Have we helped it grow, or are we doing our best to maintain the status quo?
What have we done with the gift of Jesus Christ? Have we helped to spread the good news of that gift, or are we trying to keep it to ourselves?
What have we done with the gift of our talents? Whatever your talent may be. Have we used it to further God’s Kingdom, or are we keeping it hidden away, out of sight and out of mind?
The Story of the Servants and the Talents
In the Gospel of Matthew 25:14-30 we read the story of the servants and the Talents, in this case the Talents were a measure of money. The lesson shows us that we are all given many gifts, and talents by God to be used to further the Kingdom, it also shows us that we do not all have the same abilities.
The talents in this text were given out in differing amounts. But each of us is expected to use the gifts that we are given, whatever that gift may be, to the best of our abilities. Sometimes it is when we are using our “talent”, that we will find that we are required to do more with it…”For to all those who have, more will be given…” So if you have ever used the expression… “I have done my part, now let others do theirs.” Bamp, wrong answer. God wants you to know that you have multiplied your gift, and now you can be entrusted with more.
Your Talent: Find it – Get Over it – Adjust
So if you have buried your talent (find it), or if you feel that someone else may be better at something than you are (get over it), or if you feel as if you need a break (adjust). The Kingdom of God is at hand, and we are all called to make sure that we are about the business of building up, and growing
As the hymn teaches us… Let us talents and tongues employ, reaching out with a shout of joy: Bread is broken, the wine is poured, Christ is spoken and seen and heard. Jesus lives again, earth can breathe again, pass the Word around: Loaves abound.-(ELW #674)