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A time of accounting
by Rev. Howard Ray Carey

The word pictures which Jesus set forth to illumine the lessons He was teaching seem to be almost unequalled in their power to drive home a deep spiritual truth ---- through the telling of a simple story. These parables often appear in somewhat varied form in the different gospel accounts. This should not surprise us, since the narratives were handed down orally for many years before they were put into written accounts.

Take, for instance, the parable of the master and the talents (or pounds) distributed to the servants. We find this set out in the 25th chapter of Matthew and the 19th chapter of Luke. Matthew tells of a man going on a journey, delivering five talents to one servant, two to a second, and one to the third. ''Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.'' In Luke's account the master is said to be a nobleman going into a far country to receive kingly power. Here we find the nobleman delivering one pound each to ten servants.

We might speculate that Luke put it this way because he was very democratic and so could not go along with the unequal distribution reported by Matthew. However, in spite of these differences, in both accounts the 'punch line' or main thrust of the story is essentially the same. Both agree that upon the master's or nobleman's return he requires an accounting. The first and second servants to report have made excellent use of the talents or pounds given them and thus have large returns to present. They are highly commended by their master. In Luke's version they are given much greater responsibilities ---- put in charge of several cities. According to Matthew they ''enter into the joy of their Lord.''

But the unprofitable third servant tells a sad story. Noting that his master was severe in his requirements, he had yielded to the glamour of fear. He had hid his lord's money ---- buried it in the ground according to Matthew's rendering ---- and came trembling to hand it back with no increase. The climax of the parable, when couched in personal terms, seems harsh indeed. For this worthless servant, as Matthew calls him, has his talent taken from him and he is cast into outer darkness. But when we view this story in the light of the Ageless Wisdom, perhaps we can see that it illumines an important truth. For when we put to wise and unselfish service the talents at our disposal (though we are not to be working for reward), reward comes as a byproduct of our service. In Luke's view we are given greater responsibility (put in charge of ten cities or five). Of course if we were afraid of responsibility this would be a dubious reward. But in the life of those who serve thus from a Soul level such fear has been pretty well surmounted. And, as in Matthew's account, we do enter into the joy of our Lord.

On the other hand, if we yield to the glamour of fear ---- hiding our talent in the ground (the physical dimension) ---- we discover it has withered away. Thus we find ourselves indeed in outer darkness: ''There men will weep and gnash their teeth.'' (Matt. 25:30) This parable is so very timely right now. For we are told that after Maitreya worked with and through Jesus 2,000 years ago, He did depart to a far country, the Himalayas, there to dwell in His light body. ''Now after a long time,'' (Matt. 25:19) He has returned. And in many of the Messages He has given us through Benjamin Creme it is very evident that He is calling us to account.

Look at His challenge given in Message No. 50:ëëTake Me to your hearts as I, My dear brothers and sisters, have taken you to Mine, and, working together, let us remake the world.  Let us change all that is corrupt and useless in your structures, all that prevents the manifestation of your Divinity.  Let us together show the way for the Little Ones and hold fast the world for them. I appeal to you to aid Me in My Task of succor.  Help Me to help the world, and fulfill this life.''

Again in Message No. 97: ëëJoin My Army, My friends and brothers, and cleanse the world of hate. Sharpen the Sword of Love, My brothers, close your ranks around Me, and valiantly together into the future let us march.''

Thus this ënow' is a time of accounting ---- not only for our stewardship up to the present, but also a strong challenge to render a worthy accounting of the kind of service we are willing to offer now.

How can we hold back from His appeal to us in this passage? ëëMy arms are held towards you My friends, asking for your trust, appealing for your help in remaking the world.  Many are the tasks which lie ahead, many are the blows which must be struck for Freedom and Truth.  I need all those in whom that truth shines to follow Me and help Me in My work.'' (Message No. 26)

Can we escape His burning word as found in Message No. 27: ëëThose among you who wish to serve the world have placed before them now the opportunity of all lives.  May you seize it, use it to the full, and create for yourselves and your brothers a new life.''

Truly let us unite in seizing this culminating opportunity of all the lives we have lived, that we may share in creating for ourselves and our brothers and sisters a new life. Thus, incidentally, we will be entering into the joy of our Lord, in Matthew's term.

Or, as Maitreya puts it in Message No. 104: ëëTriumphantly teach and know the joy of Service. My Love goes with you all.'' 

This article is a chapter from The Joy of Christ's Coming This book by the late Rev. Howard Ray Carey was published by Share International Foundation in 1988. It is not currently available in hard copy form. Copyright © Share International Foundation.  Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard version unless otherwise indicated. 

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First published April 1999, Last modified: 15-Oct-2005