Saturday, December 1, 2012

The servant who lived

In the spirit of Peter Rollins book, I have decided to write my own "orthodox heresy" parable.  Writing this does not mean that I disagree with the original.  I am not trying to alter anything, I merely want to share some of the thoughts that the original parable had pointed out to me.

Along those lines, I want say that if you haven't had a chance to read Peter Rollins' book The Orthodox Heretic, then you really should take the time to do that.

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Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.  For it is like a man going on a journey, who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them.  There were 4 servants in all.  To one he gave ten talents, to another five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.  The one who had received five talents went off right away and put his money to work and gained five more.  In the same way, the one who had two gained two more.  But the one who had received one talent went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money in it.  Finally, the one who received ten talents went out and invested some in a friend's business, used some for travelling, and yet more was given to a charity, and the rest he gave to his sick mother.  In the end, the investment fell through and he was left with nothing.

After a long time, the master of those servants came and settled his accounts with them.  The one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, saying, ‘Sir, you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'  His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’  The one with the two talents also came and said, ‘Sir, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more.’  His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’  Then the one who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’  But his master answered, ‘Evil and lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter?  Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received my money back with interest!  Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten.  For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.  And throw that worthless servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’

Finally, the one who had spent and lost all of the money said, "Sir, I have been faithful to you for all these many years.  We all have.  Once you gave me this money I decided that it would be a good opportunity to go out and try out a few things for myself.  I was able to travel across the country to visit an old friend.  It was amazing to see another part of the world!  The beauty of the trees and the splendor of the mountains was almost too much for these old eyes to take in.  Yet, since I am getting on in years, I knew that I was running out of time to get a chance to go out and enjoy God's wonderful creation.  Such wonders!  Also, I had heard about an orphanage down the road and the financial troubles they were having.  Since you were not around, I took it upon myself to donate some money to their cause.  They were very thankful and used the money for new linens a few new beds.  I invested some of the money in a friend's business.  I really believe in him, but in the end it did not work out.  He lost all of the money, yet I do not blame him for it for I know that he tried his best.  To tell you the truth, it was rather exciting to see him working on his little shop; building the oven, stocking the supplies.  His bakery did not last, but I was proud of him for trying and I know that he will try again if another opportunity ever arises.  After travelling and giving money to the orphanage and my friend's business I realized that there was not that much left, so I gave the rest to my sick mother.  She can use it to buy a comfortable bed, some nutritious food to enjoy, and a warm blanket to cuddle up in as she lives out the rest of her days in pain from a sickness that cannot be cured.  I visit her whenever I can.  So, I am sorry sir, but I went out and spent all of the money, some for my own pleasures and some for others.  It was a joy to go out and explore, and a great honor to give to others.  That being said,  I have no way to pay you back, but I can promise you that I am very thankful to you and I will continue to be faithful to you.'

The master looked upon his servant, a faithful one for all of these years, and all at once he fell down at his feet and wept.  For the master had realized that he had held his love of money above all else; above his friends, who he no longer spent any time with, above his family, as the servant's words of his sick mother reminded him of his own family, which has hadn't seen for many years.  He put money above his faithful servants; servants who sacrificed their own dreams to help him live out his own.  

'What have I become?' he called out, above the roof tops, to no one in particular.

Stay alert, for you do not know the day or the hour...

2 comments:

JingXuan Ma said...

it's quite interesting to see some blogs about Xining i had lived there 19years,now i study in UK.U teach in Xining?

Brett G 英 明 said...

I used to live there, near Min Zu Xue Yuan. Just moved back to Canada.