On the afternoon of Sunday 19th June in the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary Salisbury the question asked as the title of this article was asked of a congregation of about 1,000 people. The person asking the question was the newly inaugurated Bishop of Salsibury The Right Revd Stephen Lake during his homily. The portion of Scripture chosen for the Gospel Reading was the Parable of the Talents from St. Luke’s Gospel and so the Bishop asked what would we have done if we had been given the talent. He then paused in his homily whilst helpers went throughout the
congregation handing out envelopes to each person present; but he told us not to open the envelope. Once everybody had their envelope he instructed all to open them, and a £10 fell out, together with a letter from him. In the letter the Bishop wrote,
• ‘This £10 Talent is for you to take home and to make it grow as a sign of the kingdom of God. Use it as a gift for your Parish, use it to take gifts to someone who is lonely, and in visiting give them a gift of your time; use it support the work of a Foodbank or to provide a meal; or perhaps match this £10 Talent and make even more of a difference.’
The Bishop, it seemed to me, was saying something profoundly simple about the Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; whoever your are, what ever rôle within the Church you have, God in Baptism and Confirmation has endowed you with talents for you to use to proclaim the Good News of Jesus. Are you using those talents to bring those who do not yet know Christ to the that knowledge that you have?
Well, what is the answer to that question? At the end of the service we were all photographed in one great mass of Christians at the west end of
the Cathedral and we all dispersed with your £10 note to decide what we would do with it to further the work of ‘Your Kingdom come – Here and
Now.’ And perhaps to answer to even more fundamental question,
• ‘How can I personally advance the work of God’s Kingdom here on earth with the talents of grace that I received in my Baptism and
Confirmation and that are fed in Holy Communion?’
What would our answer be to that question?
Fr. David Fisher
Rector – Sarum St. Martin