Preparation: Have two large Solo cups and two small Solo cups. Have one of each on opposite ends of a table. In one of the small cups, pour ¼- cup of water with blue food coloring. In its partner large cup, put diaper polymer. At the appropriate time in the sermon, put the water into the cup with diaper polymer. Wait a minute or so, and the water should be absorbed and turned into a gel-like solid. It will stick to the bottom of the cup and you can turn it upside down and nothing with come out. "You will produce nothing." In the opposite small cup, pour ¼- to ½-cup hydrogen peroxide with blue food coloring. In its large partner cup, put one packet of active dry yeast, 4 tsp. warm water to dissolve the yeast (it's Ok if it is a little bit clumpy), and about 1 tsp dish washing liquid. At the appropriate time in the sermon, put the hydrogen peroxide into the yeast. It immediately will bubble up and foam over. "Producing more and more."
Manuscript: Good morning, Boys and Girls! Who do I have a picture of on the screen today? Spiderman! I put a picture of him up here because his character has a very famous saying: "With great power comes great responsibility." I thought that was appropriate for today because we are talking about stewardship. That's a pretty big word. Does anyone know what Christian stewardship is? Let's break it down: A steward is a person who looks after his or her master's property while the master is gone. So stewardship is looking after something and taking care of it.
What are some things God has entrusted us with that we are supposed to watch after and be good stewards of? How about things such as our families, the earth, our bodies, the church, animals, the less fortunate…Really, we are to be good stewards over anything God has blessed us with. So how do we do that?
Jesus told a story that demonstrates the principles of stewardship. It's the parable of the talents. Do you know what a talent is? Sometimes we say someone has a talent for playing the piano or for storytelling or for teaching or for playing basketball. These types of talents are actually abilities, and the word talent is derived from this story that Jesus told. Although in Jesus' time, the word talent meant a large sum of money. It was about 15 years worth of wages, numerically equivalent to $1,000.
This parable is found in Matthew 25:14-30. In this story is a master who was going to go on a journey; but before he left, he took three capable servants and entrusted them each with a large sum of money based on their ability. To one servant he entrusted 10 talents, to another he entrusted five talents, and to another one talent. Then the master went away. While he was gone, the man who had 10 talents invested it and earned 10 more to give to the master when he got back. The servant who had five talents also invested it and earned five more to give to the master when he got back. Then, the last servant took his talent, and he went and buried it in the ground. When the master returned, the man with 10 talents and the man with five talents who doubled their talents were praised. The master said, "Well done good and faithful servant. Because you have been faithful with small things, I will put you in charge of great many things."
When the servant who buried his talent gave it to the master, the master was not pleased. He said the servant was wicked and lazy because he had not done anything with it. The servant said, "I knew you were a hard master, and so I was afraid. I buried it so I wouldn't lose your money" The master called his bluff and said, "If you knew I was a hard master, at least you could have put the money in the bank so it would have gained interest." Then the master took the talent away from the wicked servant and gave it to the man who had 10 talents, and the wicked servant was punished.
Which servants do you think were good stewards of what the master had entrusted them with? The servant with 10 talents and the servant with five talents. The original amount they were given was based on their abilities, but each took what he had and used it to please the master.
Which servant do you think was a bad steward? The one who buried it! You see, the thing that was bad was not that he saved the money for the master, but that he didn't try to please his master.
What does that have to do with us today? Let's take a look: Let's say this cup of water represents the gifts and abilities God has given us. If I am a bad steward, what happens? If I never ever use what God has given me, I don't multiply the blessings. I don't produce anything to glorify God. Nothing happens. OK, so that was the example of a bad steward; let's take a look at what happens with good stewardship. What you think will happen when we use the gifts and abilities God has given us? Blessings overflow. We are producing more and more for God and His kingdom.
Remember this: Jesus will return for us one day, and we will have to show what we did while He was away. So let's be good stewards of what He has given us. Let's use our gifts and abilities to glorify God. Let us take what God has given us and multiply it.