Am I mad?
Just started a short series on The Hope of Heaven and start tomorrow with Matthew 25 where Jesus tells three parables in a row concerning his return and the judgement that will follow. Structure of the sermon is a doddle:
v.1-13 The Parable of the Ten Virgins - Are you ready for Christ’s return?
v.31-46 The Sheep and the Goats - When Jesus returns as shepherd will you be found to be a sheep or a goat?
v.14-30 The Parable of the Talents - In the light of Christ’s return, how are you using your talents?
Taken them out of order so that my illustration for v.14-30 doesn't completely drown out the first two sections.
Yesterday I went to the bank and drew out £800 in used tenners. The challenge is for whoever is in the congregation on Sunday to take a tenner and use it for the kingdom. The money is from a fund we have for giving aid to the poor and idea is that we increase "talents" as the servants did (v.20-23) and that it all goes back into the fund so that we can do all things we are supposed to do as true believers in v.35-36, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, look after the ill etc.
But it's not primarily about fund raising. It's about being accountable for what we are entrusted with. Jesus' parable tells us we will be acountable for what we have been given, how we use our talents. And of course that applies to our gifts, time and money. But Jesus does seem to be talking first and foremost about money here.
I am hoping this will be a lesson that lives with us and that we learn well because we have done something to reinforce the words that were preached. In four weeks time we will have our time of reckoning.
The night before the sermon I can't decide if what I am feeling is fear or excitment. I really have no idea how this will be received.
More on this tomorrow I suspect.