Matthew 25: 14-30
The Parable of the Talents is set in a section of discourse in which Jesus is instructing his disciples on how to endure through difficult times and how to live in anticipation of the Lord’s return. This parable is an allegorical tale for how the disciples are to live in the meanwhile between the “already” of Jesus’ resurrection and the “not yet” of his promised return.
In the parable, two slaves are entrusted with pretty vast sums of money, and both of them double their master’s investment upon his return. They have performed according to their potential and have been faithful with what was required of them. They enter into the Lord’s joy.
The third slave, however, is not so fortunate. He buried the money given to him (which was a common practice of the time). He didn’t take a risk, didn’t use his abilities, and didn’t increase his master’s wealth and estate. The master, upon return, is furious with him and threatens gnashing of teeth and darkness.
In the end we are left with a difficult parable that seems to promote effort and risk in serving the kingdom until Jesus’ return. Yet, this parable is worrisome on many levels. The master is very harsh, and shouldn’t be a representation of God. Not only does this man own slaves, but he distributes his wealth to them according to each person’s ability, but then condemns the one slave who doesn’t earn money, even though that slave really didn’t possess the ability to do better.
Some interpreters suggest that the third slave is Jesus. Others render this into a totally capitalist tale, in which the one who invests wisely reaps the benefits. Perhaps a gentler way of looking at this story is to remember it in the context of the gospel of Matthew. The story is trying to show how we demonstrate faithfulness while we wait on the return of God. We are to go about the work God has called us to do. . . to visit the sick, the prisoner, to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, to welcome the stranger.
In this work, rather than burying our abilities, we are to unearth them for service to God. This unearthing of our potential is not for our own glory, but to share more of God’s love in a world that needs it so much. What might be buried potential of yours, that God is inviting you to awaken, and put into service?
In this yoga practice we will focus on awakening our potential through the use of breath and some strong standing and core poses.
In plank, we will gather the strength of our own potential, and shine that out into the world! (pose directions taken from Yoga Journal website)
Start in Downward Facing Dog. Then inhale and draw your torso forward until the arms are perpendicular to the floor and the shoulders directly over the wrists, torso parallel to the floor.
Press your outer arms inward and firm the bases of your index fingers into the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then spread them away from the spine. Also spread your collarbones away from the sternum.
Press your front thighs up toward the ceiling, but resist your tailbone toward the floor as you lengthen it toward the heels. Lift the base of the skull away from the back of the neck and look straight down at the floor, keeping the throat and eyes soft.
Deeply inhale and exhale. Unearth your potential!