11182018 26 Aft Pent 25 Aft Trinity Sunday Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

“Our talents are God's gift to us for His use!”

11182018 26 Aft Pent 25 Aft Trinity Sunday Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

November 18, 2018

“Our talents are God's gift to us for His use!”

Sermon Audio

Recently Michele, Sarah and I were watching a movie we had purchased many years ago entitled, “Kung Fu Panda”.  It is an animated movie that tells the story of Po, who dreams of becoming a kung fu legend. The greatest challenge is that Po, isn’t a lean mean ‘fighting machine’.  He’s a robust, lovable and rotund panda, who works for his father in the towns noodle cafe.

As the story progresses, Po is ultimately chosen to be the next kung fu ‘legend’ to the chagrin of all involved.  What was seen inside Po is not clearly present to anyone, even Po. He trains, he fails, he trains, he fails, he tries his best, and fails again.  It seems his Father’s desire for Po to ultimately run the noodle cafe would come true because he would not be the next kung fu legend.

However, because he was chosen, he is ultimately given the ‘scroll’ that holds the ultimate wisdom that only legends are able to read, because it is the sacred wisdom passed from generation to generation.  Po is given the scroll, he opens it and reads the scroll and drinks in the knowledge only seen and read by legends. In utter disbelief with what he saw, Po faces a reality that his own talents that are a gift to him seem to be of no consequence with the threat the village faces.

This morning, we who have gathered as well have heard read from the most sacred of texts from God, including the Old Testament, New Testament and Gospel.  In the words of the prophet Daniel, our lesson points to the end of the age. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple and the close of the age.  The writer to the Hebrew people reminds us that the covenant of God is written on our hearts, like it was this morning for Eugene in Font of Holy Baptism, where God in our sight signed, sealed and delivered unto Eugene the covenant of forgiveness, demonstration of God’s love, His grace, mercy and peace that offers all of us eternal life.  Yet, the question could be asked, is this only a preparation, or is this pointing us to a greater reality we the people of Emmanuel have the opportunity to hear, heed, help with and hold onto dearly with every fiber of our being?

This morning, when the waters of Holy Baptism, blessed by God our Father were poured over Eugenes head, we who gather here became not only witnesses, but each of us as the people of God were reminded of the promises made to us in our Holy Baptism.  As well we promised to Eugene we would insure His being brought up in the Christian faith as the next generation for Emmanuel who will inherit from God the gifts and talents promised in the Covenant of grace, mercy and love from God. For, “Our talents are God’s gift to us for His use”.  These gifts and talents given this morning unto Eugene are the same talents and gifts promised to and for each of us gathered here today in our Holy Baptism.  These are the gifts and talents of stewardship that God wants us to use here at Emmanuel for His Glory so Eugene and many others can hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We who gather here are enabled, empowered and encouraged to as Daniel says, “shine like the brightness of the sky above” pointing to what God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit does in each of our hearts and lives.  The brightness we can share isn’t only for adults to utilize, but is for all of the church to use our gifts, talents and time for God’s Glory.  If we purposefully separate out and segment our church for certain events, we clearly demonstrate and point to our greatest weakness of exclusion, not inclusion.  Jesus in His entire ministry would teach, celebrate, eat with and always be inclusive of all people in order to show a unity that would highlight and enable everyone to feel special and included no matter where Jesus was teaching, preaching or engaging.  And Jesus would encourage all the people to understand that “Our talents are God’s gifts to us for His use.”

For “Our talents are God’s gifts to us for His use” and are not limited to those who walk with a cane, have a job or ‘have reached’ a certain milestone.  The gifts and talents we each have are meant to be shared across generations, excluding lines and meant for God’s use giving Him the greatest Glory.

We who gather here today like Po who read the scroll with the wisdom from the ages, read it because our Holy Scriptures we hold dear are meant to help each and every one of us to see our gifts and talents are gifts from God.  Ironically when Po read the scroll, it was empty, devoid of writing and did not have any ‘great wisdom’. When Po after returning to the noodle cafe spoke with his father and learned what the secret ingredient was in the ‘special house soup’, Po learned, there was no secret ingredient.  And by extension his perspective was radically changed by the truth of what was not written on the scroll. What was special was him.

So to this morning, our Holy Scriptures unlike the scroll for Po have written in them the wisdom of the ages from God our Father.  They are God’s gift to us pointing each and every one of us to His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ as the Gospel of our salvation.  And clearly, what was given unto Eugene this morning is the gift of forgiveness and eternal life. Like a blanket that wraps him, cuddles him and gives him the greatest comfort, the gift of eternal life through Water and Word creates within him a future that is not bleak, but beautiful, because it is a future filled with grace and every blessing because of gifts and talents Eugene and each of us have been given in Holy Baptism from the font through the Water and Word.

For you see, what God did this morning is remind we who gather here of the talent of His Son Jesus Christ to forgive us our sins, give unto us the greatest gift of grace of eternal life and the ability to understand this simple truth.  “Our talents are God’s gifts to us for His use”.  Let’s covenant with God and one another as brothers and sisters here at Emmanuel to join our heads, hearts and hands for God’s service in our world as good stewards for Eugene and every person who enters our doors understanding “Our talents are God’s gifts to us for His use”.  AMEN.