I’ve always considered Matthew 25 an Advent chapter. Matthew edits three parables together in this chapter. They all address a time of waiting…living ‘in the meantime.’ While there are multiple angles of interpretation regarding these parables, we’ll let them be Advent parables today…
The parable of the ten bridesmaids encourages us to ‘tend our vocations’ while we wait. Wedding time arrived and some bridesmaids were ready—others were not. Advent is a good time to evaluate our life’s work, our family connections, and the deepest friendships of our lives. How well are we tending our personal lives?
The parable of the talents sheds light on our relationship to our Lord. While I’m not fond of ‘master’ language in biblical text and while I tend to lean toward the insights of liberation theology when interpreting these types of parables, today I’ll go the traditional route. God has entrusted each of us within the community of faith with a measure of wealth and resource. The measures differ from person to person. Advent is a wonderful time to assess the level of our investment in ‘the master’s’ work. It’s the perfect time for me to remind you to be generous to your church’s budget and mission endeavors. Rather than simply tucking away more and more money for yourself and your personal endeavors, give a little more than you had planned to the work of the church this year.
Finally, the parable of the ‘least of these’ reminds me to care for all the needy of the world. Life isn’t just about me and my community—in the words of Jacob Marley (Ebeneezer Scrooge’s deceased business partner), “Humankind should be our business.” In this light, remember that we can help make Christmas brighter for families in our community this year through FBG’s MinisTREE. We’ve made online shopping easy with this link. Be sure to read the welcome message in order to understand the process AND how to let us know you’ve chosen a gift. If you’d rather choose an ornament from the tree, please stop by the church reception area (after December 1). Whether shopping online or in person, please be sure all gifts are delivered to or dropped off at the church (unwrapped) no later than December 15. This is a great way to spread God’s love to those who could use a little extra cheer during Christmas! Please contact Amy Joye at amy.joye@firstbaptistgreenville.com or 233-2527 ext. 111 with any questions.

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