Entrustment: What are you doing with what you have been given? The rub of the parable of course, is to determine with what you have been given. And, moreover, to determine if whether or not the exercising of your gifts is for the sake of your own gain or for the sake of the nearing of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The fact that Jesus calls out our squandering of that which has been entrusted to us — and then imagining our response to said truth-telling.
So, what will I do with what I have been given? I will continue to persist in calling out any and all theology that attempts to sanction discrimination. I will continue to resist so-called Biblical interpretations that have so coopted and corrupted Scripture that God’s intention to love, to free the oppressed, to care for the rejected, to uplift the marginalized, to regard the overlooked, to empower the powerless is overlooked at best, ignored and dismissed at worst. I will continue to call out claims about God that are simply feigned and veiled attempts to perpetuate personal authority, and to idolatrize the individual.
We have been gifted with a call from a congregation that trusts us and a denomination that believed in us. What we choose to do with these gifts is the very question of Jesus’ parable this week. Will you sideline or sidestep your public presence and public voice? And, will you admit why you are doing so? Are you afraid of rocking the proverbial boat? Afraid of not being liked? Afraid of people walking out? Afraid of hateful messages and trolling? Afraid of the judgment of judicatories? Afraid of the censoring of synods? Afraid of the arbitrary insistences of institutions? Or, are you afraid of the Lord?
The risk factors, the faith factors that make any kind of public profession of commitments and beliefs are profound these days — for all of us — but even more difficult for those of us who speak a word about God, a word from God, a word for God. We are the first to be criticized, the first to be vilified, the first to be crucified. And why? Because resistance to and rejection of the truth is a self-protecting, power-protecting, control-protecting mechanism so deeply ingrained in the human condition that its sin is routinely forgiven as “that’s just the way things are.” Karoline Lewis
“As Christians, we are called to see hope and possibility. Through our vows, my brothers and I are called to embrace the risk of living on our faith, trusting God will work through the inspired kindness of others to support our life and our work. I am hopeful for our future, because as God works through the hands of our Friends, I see wonderful days ahead.” –Br. James Koester, SSJE.