Using Your Talents

If you attended the youth Christmas program in December, you know that we had some great scenery – seriously, some really great scenery. Pam, Starr, and Gail spent a lot of hours working on it, and their hard work really shows. Several years ago we began using flats made from muslin stretched over wooden frames – a very similar process to that used in community and professional theatres. This year they used a new technique for shaping props they learned from a resource video in the director’s pack.

Those who have been around our church for many years will probably remember that all of our background scenery used to be painted on long sheets of paper. Each year when we wanted to put the scenery up, we spent a couple of hours with a ladder and thumbtacks laboriously aligning, hanging, and adjusting those strips of paper. Then several years ago, Bill Bo and JW were enlisted to come up with a way to hang the new flats we wanted to use.

Several times while we were painting the flats this year, Pam remarked that she thought we really needed all those years of working with the sheets paper to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to do the kind of elaborate city scene that we used this year.

This reminded me of Jesus’ parable of the talents from the book of Matthew. In this story, the men who responsibly used what they were given were blessed. They prospered and increased the talents they had been given.

This story has such a strong parallel in our practical experience with this scenery. For many years, we worked on scenery with the skills and knowledge that we had. We made some improvements along the way, but this year was such a huge increase over what we’ve done in the past. It serves to illustrate that God blesses the work of those who use their abilities in His service.

So . . . what can you do in service to God? In the Bible the word “talent” often refers to a unit of weight measurement, and this weight measurement was specifically used for weighing precious metals such as gold or silver. However, I find it fascinating that in modern English, we use the word “talent” to mean natural abilities or aptitude. How fitting it is that our abilities and aptitudes can be used in so many different ways. Painting? Music? Carpentry? Cooking? Anything you can do, God can use!

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