Parable of the Talents

On Sunday, November 16th, the sermon was based on the Parable of Talents, from the Gospel of Matthew. The parable is about three individuals being given one, two, or five talents while the boss is out of town. When the boss returns, all must account for the talents they were given (one talent being the equivalent of 20 years of wages). At the end of the sermon, I challenged all of us to take a random envelope, holding a one, two or five dollar bill. How, if at all, would we invest? I was amazed by the investments people made with the money. The accounting of investments we received follows:

 

I made a cake for my birthday and posted an invitation to donate to the prison ministry of First Congregational Church and in return offered sharing of my cake. I gave my money to the children’s hospital so they can some day help all the children and they can be healthy. I gave my money to the Humane Society. I hope that one day all the animals there will have a home. I am using my dollar for stuff for the homeless shelter. We took two envelopes – each had a $1. As a family we decided to send the money to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. My spouse and I combined our money and purchased a grocery bag of food for the needy at the grocery store. We were able to add this money to our own to buy more for the Thanksgiving meal at the church. I put the $1 towards an order of seeds for a kid’s garden project I am working on. I will use the $2 towards ingredients for a soup I am making for our company chili/soup cook off which is a fundraiser for Second Harvest Food Bank. I had one talent. I multiplied it by 5 and bought a McDonald’s card and donated it back to my church. I put the $2 in the basket at my AA meeting. This donation helps pay for the rent for the space which is necessary for us to have our meetings. I doubled it from my earnings and will give it back to the church. We put our $1 and $2 together with an additional $27 to give back to the church for McDonald’s coupons or bus passes. I used my “talents” to purchase a copy of the local “street” paper and gave back to the church, too. I am putting my $1 toward the Salvation Army; many opportunities for multiplying a small amount. I gave a “popcorn scholarship”. I gave the popcorn lady at our school the $2. She gave “free” popcorn to 4 students who came up to the popcorn table with friends who were buying but they clearly did not have money themselves. I added my own money to it and made a donation to the Goodman Community Center for the Thanksgiving baskets. I gave my dollar to the Second Harvest Food Bank which has a matching promotion, so my dollar doubled the fight against hunger. UW American Family Children’s Hospital to help save our country’s most precious resource…our children.  Bought $1 worth of materials for inmate worker at Fox Lake Prison. Provides a paying job for them and blankets for kids. I purchased a stranger’s coffee at the coffee shop on Thursday and passed them a note on church letterhead that said “spread the joy, pay it forward.” I have given this money for children and youth activities within our church. Donated $2 to Second Harvest. $2 = 6 meals. Donated to the Thanksgiving dinner. Spent it on a cup of coffee on a cold day. We added to the $5 we received and donated to the local food pantry because we feel so blessed! I put God’s money in my purse to think about how to use it. On Monday while going to my car after work, a man wearing only a sweatshirt and a blanket stopped me. It was 14 degrees and windy. He asked if I could help him get enough money to find a warm place to stay. I gave him the money. Took the $5, added my own money and made a donation to the Tenant Resource Center, an organization that helps people with housing issues. Their funding has been at risk. I reinvested my $5 along with $5 of my own in our church offering this week. Bought 99 meals through Second Harvest after I multiplied it by 10. I augmented the $2 and bought a meal and bus passes for a homeless person. We put together our talents. Then we added savings from shopping sale items. Altogether we bought Subway gift cards for the hungry who come to the church office. I used my 5 “talents” to pay someone’s toll in Illinois. Then I bought a stranger some McDonald’s. I took the dollar given to me, added my own dollar, converted to 8 quarters and bought 8 people coffee at my work place.  I put up a sign saying “Happy Monday! Have a coffee on me.” We used our $2 towards the purchase of a turkey and pumpkin pie ingredients for the Thanksgiving dinner at First Congo. I will invest and multiply its value. I added more to it and donated it via Kiva. I recently met a 9 year old boy who wanted to donate a dime to a local non-profit to help poor people get the medical/social support they need. I joined him in his generosity and contributed my $1 in addition to what I had already donated. I donated to Just Bakery for baking ingredients. I was able to purchase $30 worth of Subway gift cards to be used for those who are hungry. Thanks to God for the blessing!  Bought a coffee for a homeless person. Donated to local food drive. Donated to church Thanksgiving dinner. I added $1.40 to my $1 and used a coupon to purchase 3 cans of tuna to donate to the food pantry. Used the $ to purchase bird seed for my mom’s feeders outside her window at Ivy Manor Assisted Living Room. Bought 2 coffees for the homeless. My dollar sitting on the counter this week reminded me to pay attention to those in need. I wrote a special note and spent time with friends who are going through difficult times. I shall place the $1 in the Salvation Army’s red kettle. We combined our talents along with extra and contributed through Kiva for tuition for a young woman in Kazakhstan who wishes to get a degree in order to help her country. Bought an issue of Street Pulse to help provide income to a homeless person. I got $1. I gave $20 to Salvation Army bell ringers and $20 to extra groceries for Middleton Outreach Ministry bags at the grocery store. I donated the $2 to Second Harvest through my husband’s company which doubles charitable donations, so it will equal $4, plus we will donate extra!

 

The creativity and care for God’s children can replace the fear that we sometimes feel, and then hesitate to invest. My heart is filled with joy by the love expressed in these investments.

~ Eldonna Hazen

 

Posted on December 2, 2014 at 10:37 am in Featured Content.

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