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Investing in Hope

Psalm 123:1-41 Thessalonians 5:1-11Matthew 25:14-30 Today’s gospel reading is one for which I feel a certain intimate strangeness. I say that because I have given and received tokens that quote portions of this text many times, but reading the whole parable is a bit strange and uncomfortable for me.
The comfortable part is, of course, to say to a volunteer who has worked her or his tail off for a church event, “Well done, good and faithful servant of the Lord!” But even there we’ve skipped over the word slave.
So, I think the first thing we have to do is recognize three really uncomfortable things about this parable. 1) Jesus seems to be OK with slavery. 2) Jesus seems to be OK with taking from the poor and giving it to the wealthy. 3) Jesus seems to be OK with people being punished eternally for things that happen during the brief span of a mortal life.
Now, all of these points could be used – and probably have been – to justify all kinds of things, but none of them are even remotely cl…

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