Pastor Karen Witt preached this morning (November 16) on the well-known “Parable of the Talents,” known as the “Parable of the Bags of Gold” in some Bible translations. Matthew 25:14-30. In Karen’s telling of the parable, the master praises the risk-taking of the servants who doubled his money and are invited to come and share in the master’s happiness. In contrast, he severely punishes the servant who hid and played it safe with the master’s money; that servant is thrown “outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Likewise, Jesus invites us to take risks with the gifts and blessings God has bestowed on us, to love and to share without fear of frightful consequences. The benefits of following Jesus – getting to share in our master’s happiness – are beyond imagining.