"I am going to paint the house," said a big can of paint, waiting, already mixed, in the workroom.
"No, I am going to paint it!" the paintbrush asserted, bristling with indignation.
"You are, are you?" sneered the ladder lying against the wall. "How far will you get without me?"
Just then the painter, who overheard these self-confident remarks, ventured to put in a word. "Perhaps I'd better take a holiday," he said quietly. "I wonder if the house would be painted by the time I got back?
Each of us has a talent to be used for the glory of God.
The moral of this story is that we must work together for the enrichment of Christ's kingdom. Each one of us contributes to the building of this kingdom. Each one of us is needed. Every contribution counts. The task may be large or small: it doesn't matter. Each task is important. Each of us has a talent to be used for the glory of God.
A young priest preached a sermon on the subject of Christian stewardship. Starting with the parable of the talents, he urged his people to place at God's disposal the gifts and abilities with which God endowed them. After the service, a man came up to him and said, "Father, I am not a particularly gifted man. I really don't feel capable of teaching in the Sunday school or canvassing for money or doing any of the other things that you talked about this morning. But I do have one talent that might be of use to the church."
"And what is that?" asked the priest.
"Well," said the young man, "I have the talent of criticism. I can criticize your sermons. I can criticize the choir. I can criticize everything about the church. What should I do with my talent?" The priest remained silent long enough to pray for wisdom; then he replied, "Do you remember what the man of one talent in the parable did? He buried his talent in the earth. I suggest you would be well-advised to do the same."
The talents with which God has endowed us are for the building up of the kingdom. We Christians are called to teach and preach Jesus' message to the world. As responsible followers of Christ we must not only do we hear the Word, but we must preach it as well.
Each of us is expected to perform our Christian duty according to our individual abilities. Each disciple is graced with his or her own unique power and capability of doing God's will.
There is work to be done! The work of Christian witness, the unfinished work of love. Work to achieve salvation. Work to experience eternal life with God now! Work in building up the Body of Christ.
Whatever your vocation is, you are at the same time a full-time minister of Jesus Christ out in the world. You and I - all of us - are involved in the corporate ministry of the Church. No matter where you are, no matter what your secular vocation, no matter what neighborhood you live in, while you are there, you are the Lord's ministers.
Let us not bury our talents as the lazy servant did. Rather, may we be industrious, reliable servants, using our talents for the glory of God!