I love Confirmation retreats! They are a holy time for youth and adults to build relationships and wonder about God in the midst of life. This year our big adventure was NOT making it to Good Earth Village because of sheer ice and closed roads. Thankfully we made it back to church safely. Everyone settled in to a great retreat in spite of the unexpected location. Be sure to ask your favorite Confirmation student about “endless Uno” and “the tape game”.
Our theme was Every Day Samaritans. We talked about people/friends who are hurting, outsiders, and those being bullied. We thought about our own gifts and how we use them to support each other and carry each other’s burdens. We told honest stories from our lives. We listened, brainstormed, and prayed together. (The photo shows us with balloon burdens.)
Our Bible reading for this Sunday is the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25:14-30. In the parable three workers are entrusted with gifts–an extravagant amount of money. When the owner returns, he checks to see how those gifts were used. Two workers used the gifts and one was too afraid to do anything with it so he buried the gift.
This story makes me think of our Confirmation youth and their adult leaders. At the retreat, we learned more about the great gifts and talents God has entrusted to them. Not money, but we witnessed these talents:
*hearts filled with compassion
*creative minds to solve problems
*willingness to serve
*readiness to step in to help
*energy and passion
*patience to listen carefully
Henri Nouwen says there are two ways to live: 1) a safe way with arms folded, and 2) another risky way with arms open to embrace. Maybe that gives us insight into this parable. Are you willing to be vulnerable, take a risk to trust, take a risk to reach out? The retreat participants certainly are and the world is a better place because of it.
To talk and think about…
- In what ways are you using the talents God has given you?
- What would you do if you were entrusted with $10 million dollars?
God of abundance, Give me courage to use the talents and money you give me with a brave and generous heart. Thank you for the witness of these youth & adults and the way you work through them. Amen.