WITH the approach of the election I think of Jesus’ parable of the talents, which in this story refers to money. (Matthew, chapter 25, vs 14-30.)

He told the story of an employer who was going away. He called his workers to him and gave them differing amounts of money. The first was given five talents. He traded with them and on his employer’s return he gave the original sum together with the profit he had made. His employer said, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” and rewarded him by giving him five more. Another worker who received just one talent, hid it in the ground and on his employer’s return gave him exactly what he had been given. His employer was annoyed and took the single talent away from him giving it to the first who had profitably used his money.

The story illustrates our modern expression, “Use it or lose it.”

In today’s society I think education is similar to a biblical talent. How many of us really value the education we have received and use it to the full? Another example of a biblical talent is right to vote. How often do we consider the struggle of many people in the past to extend the right to vote beyond privileged land owners, and to include women in the electorate? Do we deserve their sacrifice on our behalf?

These thoughts were triggered when I spoke with a lady last week who said she put all the election leaflets in the recycling bin. I think she was disillusioned with politics.

But as educated citizens we have a chance to use our vote to protect and further the things we really care about. These may be many and various, for example;

Caring for the environment, clean air and open spaces.

Valuing the National Health Service and the staff who make it work.

Giving children the means to live satisfying and fulfilled lives.

Providing affordable housing which nurtures family life.

And many other aspirations.

The moral is use your vote or risk losing it in the future. This may be one modern interpretation of the parable of the talents.

Ruth Neal,

Churches Together in Hale