Jesus told a parable about a man going on a journey. Before his departure, he entrusted huge sums of wealth to his slaves. There seems to be an unspoken expectation that the slaves will develop this wealth, ensuring it grows and produces a return. The term that Jesus uses to describe this wealth and property was talent. In the ancient world, a talent was a unit of measure. Although the specific amount varies widely between cultures and is dependent on a number of different factors, in Israel, a talent was most likely equivalent to a sum of around $300,000US. In other words, this is not chump change. The first slave receives 5 talents ($1.2 million), the second 2 talents ($600,000), and for whatever reason, the third slave only receives 1 talent (don’t feel too sorry for him, that’s still 300 large).

In modern English, a talent has come to mean something wildly different than it did in Jesus’ day, although our English usage descends to us from this story. When we speak of talents today, we speak of gifts and skills that we have been endowed with. These talents require work and effort to develop. This idea greatly differs from talents representing money. Christians believe that our talents, as we understand the term today, are a gift from God. We also believe that God wants us to develop, use, and share our talents. This is a common way of interpretting Jesus’ parable (although it is not the only meaning of this parable).

With an understanding that our talents are a gift from God, 1 Peter 4:10 provides a helpful reminder for us:

Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.”

Sometimes we use our gifts well by sharing them with others for the purpose of lifting their spirits, making them laugh, and entertaining them. It is to that end that our youth will sponsor a Talent Show at Sea Island Presbyterian on Sunday, October 18 at 6 p.m. This is not just a talent show for our youth, though. People of all ages are invited and welcome to participate in the talent show, and we already have several people signed up to sing, dance, and do skits. There is a place on stage for you, too! Or you can come simply to be entertained and blessed by the gifts people will share.

During the talent show, youth will be auctioning off homemade, fresh-baked apple pies. All the proceeds from this event will help support the youth ministry of SIPC by helping to provide programming and resources to sponsor youth for special trips and events. By attending the Talent Show on October 18 and supporting the ministry of SIPCY, you are entrusting us with your talents. In return, we’ll show you that we’ve got talents, too.

Hope to see you there!

+Pastor Jack