Scripture: 1 Samuel 16: 14-23
Props: the result of someone’s talent that helps you illustrate at least one answer below – I chose to focus on the “when” and show my grandmother’s portrait painted by a 78-year-old novice watercolorist
Just before you came up here you saw Pastor Mike welcome four new members to the church, and he asked them three questions. They are all important questions, but the last one, though simple, really has a lot packed into it. That question is “Will you be a faithful member of the church?”
Our new members said yes, and one thing that means is that they will use a sheet called a Time and Talent sheet to find out the different ways they can share their talents through the church’s activities and ministries.
So here’s my question to you:
What are talents?
accept all kinds of answers, including examples of talents
you could get lucky (like I did) and get the “perfect” answer: talents are special gifts that come from God that we can use to help others
Who gives us talents?
accept all kinds of answers, including talent teachers like musicians, coaches, teachers, etc.
Samuel wrote down for us what happened when Saul needed help. You see, Saul had a lot of bad days, and when he had a bad day, nothing could make it better. It took a while, but Saul learned that God had given someone the talent of playing a lyre – a tiny harp – and that hearing that person play could make the bad days get better. So Saul asked for help finding someone who plays the lyre well, and someone found David, a shepherd who could also play the lyre. David came to work for Saul. He played the lyre to make the bad days get better and also learned to help Saul in other ways too.
Now I have another question for you: When do we get our talents?
accept all kinds of answers: when we’re born, when we need them, when we’re ready
It’s so important to remember that ALL of those answers are right. If we were to read further in Samuel’s book, we’d learn that as David grew up, he received many more talents from God to use at different times. You know, my grandmother’s best friend Lucy was over 70 years old when God gave her a new talent as a watercolor painter. And she painted this portrait of my Nannie as a gift for her. And she also paints portraits for many of her friends and cards. She’s even painted me a few cards for my birthdays and special occasions in my life, and I cherish them and her talent.
Okay, last question: How many talents do we get?
accept all kinds of answers
Well, let’s count how many talents David has when he first meets Saul:
- he’s in the field with the sheep, so he has a talent as a shepherd
- he plays the lyre well, so he has a talent as a musician
So David has at least two talents, and I encourage you to read ahead in Samuel to see what other talents God gives to David as he grows into a man and becomes a King.
Will you pray with me?
Dear God, thank you for giving us talents so that we can do the things you ask us to do. Help us to be patient and practice our talents to do the best job we can. Amen
Delivered on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at Palmetto Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC.