Matthew 25:14-30 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%2025:14-30&version=NRSVA is the well known story told by Jesus: the Parable of the Talents.
What isn’t known, is the story of what happened between the rich man going away, and his return. How did the 5 talents get made into 10? How were the 2 made into 4? How was the single talent buried?
An ancient document has been found which tells us just that. This papyrus, written in Old Syriac, and hidden in Newcastle United’s trophy cabinet where it has lain undisturbed for eons, is now available to the general public.
It turns out that those three servants did the only thing that anybody would do when faced with a difficult task to fulfil. They formed a Methodist Circuit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methodist_Circuit.
The ancient document is the minutes of the Circuit Meeting of the Capernaum Circuit. Unfortunately the first pages are missing after Paul Gascoigne http://cultsha.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/article-0-02b1082a00000578-920_468x591.jpg used them to make roll-up cigarettes, so all we have left is the minutes of the final meeting before the master returned.
Here is that document:
Minutes of the Capernaum Circuit, 2nd February.
Apologies for absence were received from: Fiona Five, Tulisa Two
Present: Circuit Secretary, Barry Bury.
- Devotions were led by Barry Bury.
- Minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as a true and accurate record.
A quinquennial inspection had been done at the burial ground, and the talent was found to be still in place, perfectly intact. Barry Bury, the Property Steward was thanked for his faithful service in maintaining the burial ground.
He requested more help, now that he was getting older, and wondered whether Fiona Five or Tulisa Two could be asked to “share the load”, with the strong helping the weak, a key Circuit principle. Concern was expressed that Fiona Five and Tulisa Two were not very “Circuit Minded” as they seemed to spend most of their time developing their own talents. It was resolved to ask them if they could spare some time in helping “keep an eye” on the burial ground, as this was only fair.
This had been an effective year, and the usual high quality activities had taken place. It was important to remember that being faithful was not the same as being successful and that the Spirit blew where He wished. If the Spirit wanted to make things happen, then there would be no stopping us. We had been faithful, and that was what mattered.
It had been reported elsewhere that Fiona Five had made five talents more, and that Tulisa Two had made two talents more, but it was important to remember that numbers weren’t everything, and it was probable that these new talents were of lesser quality than the one we had.
Satisfaction was expressed at what Barry Bury, Missions Secretary, described as the “Mixed Economy”, Fiona Five and Tulisa Two doing mission in their way, and we doing mission in ours.
Treasurer Barry Bury was able to report that the accounts had been audited and Schedule B completed. He could assure the meeting that not a single penny had been wasted this year, which was a tribute to the honesty, devotion to duty and hard work of all involved.
The Circuit Advance Fund consisted of exactly one talent.
There had been a suggestion that the Circuit Advance Fund should be liquidated, and the talent given to Fiona Five or Tulisa Two, or even put in the bank to gain interest, but Barry Bury said that he had been able to quosh this. He stated that when the master returned, the finances would be looked at afresh, and it was his opinion that talents presently being used by Fiona Five and Tulisa Two would be transferred to us, to make for a more equitable distribution of talents.
- Any Other Business
The Chair of the Meeting, Barry Bury, thanked everybody for their continued hard work, for their commitment, and for their integrity in sticking to the task to which they had been called. He was sure that the Master would be absolutely delighted by their faithfulness when he returned.
There being no other business, the meeting was closed.
A longer audio version of this post can be found at http://www.flavell.vispa.com/talents.mp3.