Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Follow-up

Exhibiting the Work of the Holy Spirit, or Not?
The Parable about the Loaned Money

This is one where I wish I could remember all that our guide, art critic Nancy, explained about the piece. Something from art history, the significance of the three parts and the fancy metal trimmings. She may have explained the presence of a fish and other details. But, sorry, too much time has gone by, never mind that five minutes could be too long to remember things nowadays! Next time I will take my little tape recorder along.
I do recall one comment about people, faces and clothing in these paintings being rather generic and non-specific so that anyone could relate to the message and put themselves in the picture.

The story is about a man who goes away and entrusts his servants with different amounts of money to invest while he is gone. The footnote says that a talent was the equivalent of $1,000. So to one he gives $5,000, to another $2,000, and to the third $1,000.
The first and second put their money to work and double their amount, while the other does nothing with his.
The master considered his willful neglect so serious an offence that he casts him out as no good and worthless!
His portion was given to the number one guy.

What this says to me is that if I do not put to use what God has given me, whatever that may be, I am disobedient, faithless, and deserving punishment.

The painting illustrates the two extremes.
I like my DIL's comment: "I think it's appropriate that the person pouring out the money has a heart and a joyful countenance, while the person holding on to the money looks sad and has a black hole where the heart should be. It's a reminder that hanging on tightly to money does not bring us joy, but being responsible with it (including investing and giving) does.

It's all God's money anyway."

I was reminded of a similar story I heard recently. Bloggy friend Sara and  husband started this two years ago. On Thanksgiving Day each family member receives a certain amount of money to use for a good purpose. Christmas Day is very exciting and emotional as they share their carefully kept secrets, the stories of how each one used their gift to "pay it forward."

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