Zechariah 7:8 - 8:8; Revelation 5:6-14; Matthew 25:14-30
Human beings are created in the image of God. And as image bearers we reflect the nature, character, purposes of God out into the world. And we also sum up the praises of creation and bring them before Almighty God. The former aspect of the image is regal while the latter is priestly.
And it is the royal aspect of the vocation of image bearing that is the focus of the Parable of the Talents. As God's image bearers we are tasked with making His name majestic in all the earth. We are rule the world, not instead of God as we so often try, but as his under-shepherds and stewards (See Genesis 1 & Psalm 8)
Israel had the vocation of being the light of the world, of being that extended human family by which God rescues the earth from sin and destruction. And now the Church, the Renewed Israel, has the same vocation. We have been given the Great Commission to preach the Gospel (the Kingship of the Crucified and Risen Jesus who saves us from sin and death), to baptize, to make disciples. We have responsibilities as members of the royal family, as servants in the court of the Most High God.
We have, as it were, a big job. It's a weighty thing to be an image bearer, and to be one that has been recreated in Christ Jesus, that has been washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb.
And we don't want to be derelict in our duty (and privilege). Perhaps you've noticed (I mean, Jesus hasn't exactly been subtle), that being called to account (whether members of Israel in the first century or members of the Church at the end of the age) is a real thing. Again, not to sound like a broken record, but Jesus is indeed coming again to judge the quick and the dead. And we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account for the deeds done in the body whether good or evil. It matters greatly whether or not we know Jesus. And it matters for those of who know Jesus, who have been washed in his precious blood, and given the Holy Spirit, that we walk in a manner worthy of his name. And when we fail to do so, and we will, we come running into his arms so that we can be healed and restored.
And Advent is a call to such forgiveness, healing, and restoration. For the call to repentance is a call out of darkness into the Light of Christ. Amen.