From everyone who has been given much, plenty will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12, 48
Jesus speaks of "much". But how much is "much"? My grandchildren knew exactly what a lot of ice cream was. When it came to dessert, Grandpa had to reach with his spoon deep into the cup and fill the dessert plate. "Grandpa, more!" they kept shouting.
Of course, life is not what you would call an “ice cream sundae” and God is not an old grandfather serving us delicious dessert. When Jesus talks about "much" and "more," he asks the question of responsibility. What did I receive from God in terms of gifts and abilities? What has God entrusted me with? Seen through my eyes: Is it much or little?
I made a list in my mind and wrote down what I have been given and what I have been entrusted with. A lot came together. I was given the opportunity to live in a free Europe. Germany is a welfare state. That means a lot to many people: statutory health insurance and pension insurance, nursing care insurance in old age, etc.
What is entrusted with me? Many people come to mind: My family, my friends. Christians in my church and beyond. Quite a few people trust me.
God's word is entrusted with me. God entrusts me with his word. I am allowed to preach it and pass it on to you. God trusts me with his word.
Of course, there are also many things I am just not good at. I can't play the piano. I´m not a good craftsman. I can't ski. I'm a sports failure. But God doesn't ask what I cannot do. He asks what I can do and what I have been entrusted with in life.
Jesus makes me think. I don´t want to ask myself simply what God has given me in gifts and talents or in material possibilities. I also want to ask myself the question: what can I do with what I have? How can I use it to praise my Lord? How can I honor God with what I have? How can I pass it on to others, so that it becomes a blessing for them?
The parable "Of the rich man and poor Lazarus" (Gospel of Luke 16:19-31) came to my mind. Jesus tells us about a wealthy man who had plenty of things. From a house to expensive designer clothes. In front of his door lay a sick beggar. He had only some dogs as friends. Poor Lazarus would have loved to eat the leftovers that the rich man threw in the garbage. But the rich man did only look to himself and oversaw the need of the poor man in front of his door. On his way to work he carelessly passed him by every morning.
How does it look with me? Not only whom has God entrusted to me but also what has He entrusted to me? The livelihood of colleagues at work? Other people's money? Other people's health? Am I overlooking someone right "in front of my door"?
Another question has also played an important role to me: What other resources do I still have? What gifts have I neglected during the course of my life? What was available to me, but I left it idle and didn't even pay attention to it? It seemed worthless to me, but it could have had a lot of value for other people.
My prayer: God, you created me with many gifts and abilities. I thank you for it! Some things have been lost in the course of life. It seemed worthless to me. Please forgive! Let me rediscover the richness you have placed in me. Challenge me again and again to use my gifts and possibilities. And let me be grateful for the many things I am allowed to have. Amen.
I wish you a courageous heart that begins to rediscover the gifts and possibilities in your life. I wish you an amazement at God's riches that He has placed within you.
I look forward to seeing you. Until then may the Lord Jesus Christ preserve you in spirit, soul and body.
God bless you