Yesterday we began the story of Joshua's conquest of Jericho, a story in which Rahab plays a major role. We are told (yesterday) that Rahab was a prostitute, and the story implies that she was a successful one as she owned a house which was part of the wall of the city. She hides the two spies Joshua sent from the king's men and then helps them escape, telling them where and how long to hide outside of the city. They in turn promise to protect Rahab and all her family when they return to conquer the land, provided she keeps their secret and that she ties a crimson rope to the window from which they escaped. The story continues in tomorrow's reading.
In our selection from Matthew today Jesus tells the story of the talents used wisely juxtaposed against the talent that was buried, and thus taken away. Jesus is demanding that his disciples, and through them all of us, be daring and adventurous, to use the gifts we are given and those that we earn, in ways that benefit the development of the kingdom.
There is a swash-buckling-ness to these two stories. They are surprising too. I think both indicate that God will always act in surprising ways, through unexpected people and that we are called not to be judgmental, but open to God's work in the world all around us. We can be surprised and delighted by the generosity of a person who society and our culture has rejected. We must be risk-takers to embolden and enliven this kingdom we are called upon to make palpably present to the world. Surprises are a good thing for us to keep our eyes attuned to, always wondering what God has in store for us next.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.