Theme of the Week: Reflecting God’s Generosity
Bible Verse: But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said, “and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.” Luke 10:33-35
Scripture Reading: Luke 10:30-37
“What I do have, is a very particular set of skills . . .” This line, from the Liam Neeson movie Taken, has become something of a pop-culture phenomenon (the use here is not an endorsement of the film; it is simply an apt quote), getting parodied all over the internet.
Talents, we all have them, and we all use them. Sometimes our talents are deliberately developed so that we are an expert at a certain thing. Often this has something to do with our occupations, but sometimes our talents are simply hobbies that we have taken up in our leisure time for our own enjoyment and, often enough, for the enjoyment of others.
Using our talents (and I’ve always gotten a smile from the fact that in biblical times, money was came in denominations of talents—the dual meaning makes it an especially useful word), is perhaps one of the easiest ways to be generous. We feel a certain responsibility to use those things we are good at when there is a need for them.
If you are a talented musician, playing music on Sunday mornings is a “no-brainer,” even if musician is not your job. Or if you are a carpenter and someone needs help with a project in their home, offering your services makes sense. Our talents often come with a “should” attached to them. We should be willing to use them when others happen to need that particular skill set.
The Good Samaritan used his talents too. He may not have been the equivalent of an ancient EMT, but he did use the skills he had to bandage the injured man and get him to safety. The Samaritan knew what to do (salve and bandage) and he did it. He was willing to fill in where he was needed and do what he could.
He gave in multiple ways: his time – altered his schedule (more than once) to care for the injured man; his possessions – both his resources and his finances to help; his talents – the skills/knowledge he had.
Prayer: Father God, in my head and heart I know that these things: my time, treasures, and talents, are not for my own use. As one of your children, I know that you ask us to love and give to those around us. Help me overcome any selfishness I may have and to give generously to those in need.
Reflection: What skills do you have that can be used for someone else. Whether it is helping them in a dire situation, or simply to make someone else smile, find an opportunity this week to offer your talents to someone.
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