TWENTY FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 19TH NOVEMBER 2023

PARABLE OF THE TALENTS

What is the Parable of the Talents? Bible Story and Meaning

OPENING SENTENCE-

Satisfy us by your loving- kindness, so shall we rejoice and be glad.

HYMN

GREETING

Grace and peace to you from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God

to whom all hearts be open

all desires known

and from whom no secrets are hidden;

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you

and worthily magnify your holy name

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

There is no other commandment greater than these.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Description: Description: Description: Confession under section 67 NDPS Act to be admitted or not, yet to ...

CONFESSION

God is love and we are God’s children.

There is no room for fear in love.

We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father, we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA sung by Sue Turner

COLLECT

O Lord,
forgive the transgressions of your people;

and by your goodness release us from the snare of sin,

through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen

FIRST READING Judges 4:1-7 read by Mark Toner

Deborah and Barak

The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, after Ehud died. So the Lord sold them into the hand of King Jabin of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; the commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-ha-goiim. Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help, for he had nine hundred chariots of iron and had oppressed the Israelites cruelly twenty years.

Daily Bible Reading Devotional [Judges 4:1-7] – November 14, 2016 – Dust  Off The Bible

At that time Deborah, a prophet, wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in e hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you, ‘Position yourself at Mount Tabor, taking ten thousand from the tribe of Naphtali and the tribe of Zebulun. I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the Wadi Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand.”

SECOND READING 1Thessalonians 5:1-11 read by Peter Boreham

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So, then, let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober, for those who sleep, sleep, at night, and those who are drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober and put on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 - Bible verse - DailyVerses.net

HYMN

GOSPEL READING Matthew 25: 14-30 read by Rev Chris Wren

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Matthew chapter 25 beginning at verse 14

Glory to Christ our Saviour.

The Parable of the Talents

“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. At once the one who had received the five talents went off and traded with them and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I did not scatter? 

Matthew 25:14-30 "Parable of the Talents" - YouTube

Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return, I would have received what was my own with interest. So, take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance, but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord

SERMON

Low Stock Market Volatility Masks 'Pain Under the Surface'

It sounds kind of tempting, doesn’t it? I mean, given what we have seen in the stock market and heard on the news in the past few months, digging a hole and burying some cash in the back yard doesn’t sound so crazy, now, does it?  Those who laughed at the elderly when they stashed their money years ago in an old lard can under the loose floorboard are having second thoughts today. Maybe these elderly folks had the right idea, all along.  Maybe taking risks—with banks, with investments, with demanding bosses, with life itself—is just too sketchy… too uncertain…too dangerous. After all, if you hide your treasure in a lard can or a cigar box, or in a deep, deep hole behind the wood pile, you know exactly what you’ve got and where you stand. You may not double your investment. You may not impress your relatives or astonish your boss—but at least it’s safe.  

The Parable of the Talents-Matthew 25:14-30 -

It’s safe in a world where many people harvest what they do not plant and gather what they do not scatter. In a world filled with dangerous opportunities, uncertain markets and demanding masters—Safety can sometimes feel like the biggest prize of all. But this story we read today from the Gospel of Matthew, like so many stories in the Bible, challenges us to turn our expectations inside out. This story invites us to see that people who play the percentages—people who hedge their bets and hide their treasures—people who are fearful and risk nothing, actually risk everything.

Like the servants in this story, God offers us a partnership. The 5-talent and 2-talent servants saw the partnership as an opportunity—an adventure to be explored. They knew that what the Master gave them could easily be lost, stolen, invested badly—but they took the risk anyway. The third servant saw the partnership as a burden—a potential landmine to be feared. He knew that what the Master gave him could easily be lost, stolen, invested badly—and so he opted for damage control. This servant avoided the challenge of partnership, only to find that playing it safe can be the biggest risk of all.

The Parable of the Talents – Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church

Playing it safe can be the biggest risk of all and that was the problem of the Pharisees and Scribes. The whole aim of the scribes and Pharisees was to keep the law exactly as it was. In their own phrase they sought to build a fence around the law. Any change, any development, any alteration, anything new was to them an anathema. Like the man with the talent, they desired to keep things exactly as they were and it is for this that they are condemned. In this parable Jesus tells us there can be no religion without adventure, no faith without risks, no gospel witness without radical living, and that God can find no use for the shut mind. Willingness to dare is an essential part of our faith.

With courage you will dare to take risks, | The Foundation for a Better Life

Dare, courage and radicalism are at the heart of the gospel. So often people are closed to the gospel because it appears tame, domesticated and it doesn’t speak to them or challenge them. That’s because so often as Christians we want things on our own terms and not on God’s. God’s ways are challenging, ours are feeble! Christians are tempted to buy three pounds worth of the gospel. Not too much- just enough to make me happy, but not so much that I get addicted. I don’t want so much of the gospel that I learn to really hate covetousness and lust; I certainly don’t want so much that I start to love my enemies, cherish self- denial and contemplate missionary service in an alien culture. I want ecstasy, not repentance. I want transcendence, not transformation. I would just like three pounds worth of the gospel! But where is the dare, the courage and the transformation in that! We need to rediscover the nerve, the passion, the sense of radicalism that lies at the heart of the gospel. I suspect the youth of today have not rejected the gospel but rather they do not know it because all they have seen is a tame version of it- a domesticated version that does not promote daring, adventure and risk.

Are We Grateful for God's Blessings? How Coveting Turns Gods Abundance into  Bitterness | Calvary Catonsville – Calvary Catonsville

When you embark on this path of daring, risk and adventure you enjoy spiritual intimacy with God. ‘Enter into the joy of your master’. This was apparent from the two who had respectively five and two talents. Who are these two, who respond appropriately to the master’s trust? They are those who hear the call of Jesus and on that basis develop what Israel has already been given so that it now becomes something new. They are not three pounds worth of gospel people- they are wholehearted, committed and radical people, who expect great things from God and attempt great things for God. They invested wisely, doubled their Master’s wealth and were richly rewarded.

The third servant, however, the timid soul who feared his master and who lacked sufficient confidence in himself to take a risk, was not praised for keeping his master’s money safe and returning the one talent intact. He was instead, loudly criticized; he was berated and made to feel the fool. Then, after being stripped of his one talent, and undoubtedly his pride as well, he was thrown into the outer darkness. Put yourself in his shoes for a moment. He was a timid man, perhaps the kind of man who wore both a belt and suspenders; he liked to play it safe. He must have been quite good at his job or his master never would have entrusted even one talent to him. He was probably also the kind of man who did well under someone else’s direction but had a hard time making decisions for himself — and he is all the more terrified here because the decision he is asked to make affects not only himself, but also his employer’s welfare. So, he did the safe thing; he buried the money. That way, he reasoned, there was no way he could lose any of it. Even if the market crashed, even if he was robbed, even if the sky fell in, his master’s money would be safe. We might even imagine that he felt good about that decision. Imagine him saying proudly, “Here it is, sir. Every cent of it! Just as you entrusted it to me. Not a penny has been lost.” But that was not sufficient! It was laziness and apathy that were his problems! His image of God was also all wrong!

He saw God as harsh. If we experience God and the universe as harsh and cruel – the way the third slave did – then we’re never going to flourish. Our talent will stay buried in the ground, never to see the light of day. We may end up living in a hell of our own making – only existing, never fully alive. On the other hand, if we believe in a Creator who works with us, who meets us and doubles our efforts if only we take the first step then we’ll be willing to take big risks – or, as writer Annie Dillard puts it, to “spend it, shoot it all!” Then we’ll be able to live lives of abundance, in partnership with the God.

The biggest risk in life is not taking risks at all! | Meaningful life,  Life, Wise quotes

This partnership with God requires us to use our talent. We don’t all have the same talents but we’ll be judged only by what we do with what we have. God holds Christians accountable for what they do with their lives and their “gifts.” Above all, we are to give account of our whole selves, of what sort of people we are. But we must also give account of our use of our “gifts,” of our experience of God being at work in our lives, of our money, our time, our being parents, our being citizens, the things that each of us is able to do well. In the parable of the talents, Jesus is saying that what we don’t use, we lose. Nothing is more valuable than life itself, and nothing more tragic or more evil than destroying or wasting life and its gifts, whether it is in ourselves or in others. To waste such a divine investment is serious business. It was not enough for the servant to keep the bag of gold safe; he was expected to use it, to do something with it. So also, it is not enough for us to keep our gifts “safe.” If they are not used and increased, they are taken away.

That’s the way it is in life. The society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children reported that a little girl was forced by her parents to pretend that she had only one leg so that she could go out and beg for them. So her left leg was tied up, out of sight. She was like that for so long that in the end she could not use her leg at all. There was no power left in it. Sadly that’s life!

Quote by William Carey / Expect great things from God, attempt... —  Heartlight® Gallery

We have to use gifts for them to remain effective! The batteries of life are charged by being used; they lose their charge if the generator is not switched on. Physical exercise increases our capacity to take on more!

The jogger is prepared to suffer momentary tiredness for he knows that by his effort he is generating more energy. Intellectual stimulation does not exhaust the mind but produces a person who is alert and attentive in all spheres of life.

The same principle of growth applies to the spiritual life ‘Train yourself spiritually, expect great things from God and attempt great things for God, live with gospel daring and adventure so that God will one day congratulate you on your faithfulness. Well, done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master. AMEN

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

NICENE CREED

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME

PRAYERS

Generous God, you bless your people

with many attributes and talents,

help us not to bury them

but to utilise them as best we can

for the benefit of others

and to the glory of your name.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

The coherent creation worldview

Generous God, you have designed

the world in such a marvellous way

with such diversity and intricate detail,

inspire in us good stewardship of these riches,

and turn us away from abuse of your creation

and greed in hoarding resources.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

There's a dilemma at the heart of the NHS - but politicians don't want to  talk about it | Adam Boulton | UK News | Sky News

Generous God, in our country,

we are blessed despite its failings

with a good health service.

We thank you for the skills and expertise

of our nurses, doctors, and consultants.

As we enter these winter months,

protect the hospital staff from Covid and the Flu,

so that they are better equipped to offer us

good and effective medical care.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Generous God, we thank you for

those that are elected to govern our country.

We ask that they prioritise the nation’s needs

over their own political ambitions and goals.

We pray that they might have wisdom

and that their purposes and values

are wholesome and good.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

What is peace? | Early Childhood Peace Consortium

Generous God we bring before you

those lands torn and troubled by war.

We lift to you Ukraine & Russia, Israel and Palestine

and ask for a lasting peace, and cessation of hostilities.

We pray for good diplomacy

that will result in the war ending

and in the establishment of reconciliation

and the rebuilding of lives and communities.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Generous God, as the darker nights set in

and the temperatures drop,

we pray for those who are homeless and destitute.

We thank you for the food banks and hostels,

that help to alleviate people’s suffering,

but we pray that the root cause of this problem would be tackled

and that that the urgent issue of poverty would be addressed.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made - Epiphany Lutheran Church Dayton

Generous God, thank you that you knit us together

whilst we were still in the womb,

and we are wonderfully made.

Teach us to look after ourselves well,

and for those whose health is not good,

whether it be in body, mind or spirit,

draw near and bless with your hand of healing and love.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Generous God, thank you for your unfailing

and unconditional love for us.,

We are grateful for the way you watch over us

and have your hand upon us.

Help us to be filled with thanksgiving

and live our lives in contentment.

Merciful Father accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,

who taught us to pray together..

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

HYMN

A blue text on water

Description automatically generated

BLESSING

The peace of God, which passes all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,

and of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord:

and the blessing of God the Father,

the Son and Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always. Amen

DISMISSAL

Go or stay in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen

Welcome

St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.

Donations

You can donate to St John’s by credit or debit card by following these links.

St John’s Bellringers on Border Life video

Notices

Contemporary Service

Contemporary Service

The Contemporary Service is at 6pm, on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, followed by refreshments in the hall.

Facebook

St John's Church

2 days 38 minutes ago

Sunday 14th April 2024 is our Eucharistic Service at 11:00am! Tonight is our contemporary service at 6pm. Theme- on the road to Emmaus. Come and join us if you are

St John's Church

1 week 2 days ago

Sunday 7th April 2024 is our Eucharistic Service at 8:00am and 11:00am! We also have Matins at 9:30am. You are most welcome to come along to our services. Be great

St John's Church

2 weeks 23 hours ago

When this happens, it’s usually because the owner only shared it with a small group of people, changed who can see it or it’s been deleted.

St John's Church

2 weeks 1 day ago

When this happens, it’s usually because the owner only shared it with a small group of people, changed who can see it or it’s been deleted.