Buried in the Ground: A Grave Poem about Stewardship

I always feel sorry for the man in Jesus’ story
who buried his money and returned it intact to the master,
only to be scorned for his trouble.
He is remembered forever as the man who didn’t get it,
the man who missed the stewardship boat,
the man who was profoundly untalented. 

What brought him to that inearthly choice?
What circumstances put a shovel in his hand,
and only preservation in his heart?
“I was afraid,” he said.
Maybe it was a deathly fear of change,
he’d rather bury something than risk losing it,
(or risk it growing, a possibility he hardly considered). 

I can relate to him;
I am (wonderfully and) fearfully made.
Some days I can hardly pry my hands off my
money/bank card/time/life,
because it’s mine, you see, that’s the point.
If I let go, who knows how it will change,
I’m scared it won’t be for the better.
Use these chains, this box, these blinders,
step right down here, close down, close in.
Roll that stone over, a few shovels more,
and nothing will be lost.
All of me, safe in the ground:  a deep mine.

Imagine our surprise and shock when the voice of Jesus
breaks open our story like a tomb with the words, “Come out!”
We pause, in the dark, wondering for the first time
whether what we are is buried
or planted. 

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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