Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jesus said, "Don't Bury It."

"For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
Matthew 25:14-18
   These are the opening few verses of the Parable of the Talents.  They end with the master returning to find that some took and invested his money in order to get more, while others buried it or sat on it out of fear that they would lose it. This is a complex, and frankly troubling parable to read before modern ears, but it offers a core truth; disciples are commanded to invest and use the resources given to us, regardless of fears or worries about the future.   I believe this is relevant to the proposal before Epworth this weekend at the Church Conference on Sunday, February 26. Here are the questions I have already asked myself as the dreams of such a proposal have slowly become a reality; 
  • Isn't it a lot to spend on a driveway, a place to erect a church sign, and 60 new parking spaces? 
  • Should we wait for some better alternative proposal? 
  • What happens if we don't spend the money we already have on hand for this project, particularly the funds from the Hamp Stevens merger?
   The answers that keep returning to my questions are leading me to vote Yes on Sunday. While no one would spend this kind of money on a driveway, this proposal is about so much more than that. This project would gain us visibility on the second-busiest road traveled by our neighbors and community. We'd have a chance everyday to connect their spiritual needs with the great offerings of God through this church. The chance to double our parking capacity, which so already desperately need, would only be icing on the cake. I also believe there is not a better capital project that better positions this church to grow its own members and reach new people with the Gospel. Finally, while the promise to hold the Hamp Stevens funds was extended in 2010 beyond the original agreement, at some point in the near future we are going to have to spend those funds or else risk having them spent by someone else on something else.    At the height of the parable Jesus is telling we hear, "For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away." Can we believe that we will receive, in the future, what we need? Can we believe that the same God who has provided, will continue to provide if we invest and spend what we have right now? I believe, Yes.

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