Watch where I go to get this lesson called, The Parable of the Talents.

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1 Parable of the Talents (based on Matthew 25) Materials: Felt underlay 15 golden coins talents Felt hole Rock Spools of thread in many colors Stack of pieces of beautiful fabric Watch where I go to get this lesson called, The Parable of the Talents. Take the parable lesson from its shelf and bring it back to the story circle. This story has such an interesting name, The Parable of the Talents. A parable is a story that is interesting to listen to and also teaches us something about life. This story is a parable. I wonder what it will teach us? Let s start here. Unfold and smooth out the felt underlay in the spot where you will tell the story. Once upon a time, there was a very busy and wealthy landowner, a Master of people and money. This Master owned lots of land hills and valleys and gardens and grapevines. The land brought him a lot of money, but also kept him very, very busy. The Master always had work to do and he even had many, many people - workers and servants - to help him do it. He also had to take care of his money. The Master had to count the money and protect it and think about how to save and spend it. Show the children a handful of 8 golden talent coins.

2 In the time and the place where the Master lived, money wasn t called dollars or pennies, it was called talents. Let s count how many talents the master had. Count 8 of the coins together, One talent, two talents, three talents. This was a lot of money, a lot of talents for one person to have. One day, the Master had to go away on business, leaving his land and his money behind. He called three of his servants, the people who helped him take care of the land and all he owned. He said to his three servants: I must go away for a while and I need three people I can trust. You are my three most helpful servants. I will leave with you my talents, my money, to take care of while I am gone. To the first servant, he gave one talent, saying, I trust you with this one talent. I ll be back soon. Place one talent to the left side of the felt underlay, at your 9:00. To the second servant, he gave two talents, saying, I trust you with these two talents. I ll be back soon. Place two talents to the right side of the felt underlay, at your 3:00. To the third servant, he gave five talents, saying, I trust you with these five talents. I ll be back soon. Place five talents in the near center of the felt underlay, at your 6:00. The Master went away and was gone a long time. The first servant, the person with one talent, said to herself, Oh my goodness. The Master has given me one talent. I mustn t lose it. I should keep it hidden, that way it will be safe when my Master comes back home. I ll put it where others will not know about it, in case it might get stolen. So the first servant dug a hole. Place the felt hole piece right next to the single talent.

3 She put the talent deep in the dark hole and then covered it with a rock. Place the coin on top of the felt hole and then cover both with the rock. That should do it! It s best that no one knows I was entrusted with this talent, in case someone tries to take it. The second servant, the one with the two talents, said to himself, What should I do with these two talents I ve been given? The Master trusted me with them. I could keep them safe by hiding them, but I could also think of a way to use them to gain something new and wouldn t the Master be so happy if he came home and I had helped him so?! What can I do? The second servant thought and thought. What could he do with the two talents? The people in next village over were known all across the land for their beautiful thread. Everyone in his village wished they had some of that soft and colorful thread spun from sheep s wool. The second servant decided to walk to the next village to see the spinners thread. He took the two talents with him. Take the two talents up in your hand. He walked and walked. (Invite kids to tap feet as if walking.) It was a long walk but in the end, the beautiful colored thread was worth the trip. Show the children the beautiful colored thread. Look them over as if admiring and choosing. Ask the group if they d choose each of the colors. Pretend you can only get x number of spools for two talents. Maybe six or eight. The second servant complimented the spinners on their fine, fine work and the dyers on their bright, bright colors. He decided to spend his two talents on some lovely spools of thread. He had a good idea about what to do with the thread. Take some (but not all) of the thread. Say thank you and bow your head as if to the sellers of the thread. Place the two talents on the felt where the thread was as if to pay for it. He brought the beautiful colored thread back to his own town it was a long walk back and took them to the market. Thread for sale! He called out. Beautiful,

4 soft thread from our very own neighbors in the next village over! Only four talents to buy it all! He wondered, would anyone buy this beautiful thread that he had brought home from the neighboring village? It would save someone the long trip if they did! Take four gold coins out of the story basket. Someone did buy them! A woman at the market saw the pretty thread and said, Four talents for such beautiful thread seems like a fair deal! You must have walked far to get this! No one in our village can spin so well as this! Place four gold talents to the right hand side of the underlay, at your 3:00, where the two talents had been. Ask the kids how many talents the second servant had when he started. How many does he have now? How many new talents did he earn? How proud the second servant was! He had had a good idea and walked long and far and it had been worth it! While he started with only two talents, he ended up with four! He hoped the Master would be pleased. The third servant, the person with five talents, watched the second servant s good idea and thought, Wow, that was a good idea! With a little work, my fellow servant did something helpful. I wonder what I could do? She thought and thought and said to herself, Say, if I use one of my own special gifts and skills, maybe I could do something unique! I know how to weave and can make beautiful fabric. What if I went to our neighboring village and bought some beautiful thread, too? Then I could weave it into a beautiful piece of fabric and sell it to someone who would like to wear it. Take up the five talents in your hand. The third servant walked and walked until she came to the neighboring village where the beautiful thread was made. She looked at the lovely thread and selected some of the most beautiful colors to buy. Select two colors of thread like ones in the lesson s colored pieces of fabric and put down two talents on the felt in payment.

5 The third servant took the thread home to her village it was a long walk home and got right to work weaving on her loom. She knew how to weave very fine fabric with very pretty patterns. She had a real gift for such creative work. After a couple days, she had two lovely woven pieces of fabric finished. Show the children the two pieces of beautiful fabric. The third servant brought the new fabric to the market and hung it up for everyone to see! Beautiful new cloth! she called. Lovely fabric for sale! Made by my own hands from the beautiful thread of our very own neighbors from the next village over. Someone came to her and said, How beautiful! I ll pay you eight talents for this fabric!. Then, another voice from the market crowd called out, I ll pay you ten talents! I ve never seen such wonderful cloth! Take ten more coins from the story basket and place them at 6:00 where the five talents had been. Place the beautiful clothing back in the story basket. How proud the third servant was! She had walked a long way for the thread and put a great deal of time and creativity into the fabric. It had been worth it! While she had started out with five talents, she ended up with ten! That day, the Master came home from his long trip. He gathered the servants around him and asked for them to return the money with which he had entrusted them. The second servant (point to the four talents at the 3:00 position) said, Master! Look! With a good idea and some effort, I earned you two more talents. Instead of two, I give you back four! See?! The servant smiled and felt proud. Let s count the Master s talents! Count the four talents together. The Master was very pleased. He said, Well done, good and faithful servant! I trusted you and you did good things. From now on, I will trust you with even more important work!

6 The third servant (point to the ten talents at the 6:00 position) said, Master! Look! With a good idea, my creative talents and some work, I have earned you more talents. Instead of five, I bring you back ten! She smiled a big smile and felt so proud. Let s count the Master s talents! Count the ten talents together. The Master was very, very pleased. He said, Well done, good and faithful servant! I trusted you and you did wonderful things. From now on, I will trust you with even the most important work! Say, now, said the Master, where is the first servant, whom I trusted with one talent? The first servant came forward. She said, Master, I was afraid I would lose this one talent. I feared someone would know about it and steal it, so I buried it under a rock. I didn t want you to be angry if anything happened to it. See?! Here it is again. Take the talent out from under the rock. The Master was? What do you think the Master said to the first servant?

7 Wondering Together I wonder what the most important part of this story is? I wonder what part you liked the best? I wonder why the three servants did three different things? I wonder how else we use the word talent? I wonder if anyone is talented in music? Dancing? Drawing? Gardening? I wonder if there s any talent that you hide from people? I wonder what talent you d like to use in your job when you grow up? I wonder if money is a helpful thing or a not-so-helpful thing? I wonder which of the three servants used their talents the best? I wonder if your parent has to give money to anyone like the servants gave the master back his money? What else do our parents do with the money they earn? I wonder if this story is just about money or about something else, too? I wonder if people can live without money? I wonder why people want to be rich? I wonder what the first servant who buried her talent needs?

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