Sermon: Gift Receipts

gift 5“Gift Receipts”

(November 16, 2014) What do we do with the gifts given to us? Will we hide and hoard them, for fear of losing them, or will we invest them and give them away in what we love and what the world needs, so that we might be faithful servants and stewards of God’s good gifts? (Matthew 25:14-30)

The beginning portion of this sermon is cut off! 😦 

I began by talking about the reality contest show “Project Runway,” where aspiring clothing designers are challenged to make clothing in short amounts of time and often with unconventional materials, competing for a prize. I described how, in these unconventional challenges, when the designers had to make garments out of flowers, or school supplies, or candy, or hardware, invariably one or more contestant would grab a sub-par, smaller pile of materials to work with, and then spend much of their time complaining and fretting that they did not have as large a pile of resources as the other designers. Sometimes, however, a designer who had seemingly little to work with might create something truly amazing, because it’s not about what we have to work with, but what we do with it that matters.

Drawing by S.R. Paquette

Drawing by S.R. Paquette

This, I posited, is what life is like. We have gifts, great and small, and it’s up to us to decide what we make of them– will we invest and spend and give them, or will we hoard and hide them out of fear. I drew our attention back to the Gospel story, where one servant hides the master’s money for fear of losing it, while the other two invest and spend it, earning not only a greater return, but their master’s praise. This, I argued, is not a rationale for the rich getting richer– it’s not what they started with that matters. Instead, it is a cautionary tale about hiding or suppressing our gifts, no matter what they may be. It is about this time that the recording picks up.

At the end of the sermon, I talk about a drawing that my sister created. I’ve copied it here.

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One Response

  1. I think the Truth of creation is built on the principle of giving. It is what makes the world go ’round in a functional way.

    The question is, what are we giving to others? Are we giving with a spirit of generosity, or, are we giving with a spirit of expectation for what we will get in return?

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