The week beginning Sunday, 19th November is the second Sunday before Advent and the Bible passage assigned to this week is the parable of the talents found in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 25 and verses 14 to 30. I was recently listening to a friend who was telling me about a Hollywood screenwriter who was a Christian and had worked on some famous blockbuster films. I said that he was clearly successful, to which my friend replied, “It depends what you mean by success”. Of course, my friend was right. Success for the Christian is not measured in the same way as others might measure it. Jesus’ disciples were not people of wealth, influence and celebrity status – quite the reverse. How then do we measure success? I think the parable of the talents gives us an important clue. Jesus was not bothered whether someone made five talents or two talents but he wanted them to try to do something. Jordan Seng, a well-known Christian speaker, often says that faith is spelt ‘T R Y’. As a community, we all have different talents. Some of us are good at academic things and others are good at practical things; some of us are good at physical things and some of us are good at cerebral things. It doesn’t matter what we are good at or the measure of our ability. What matters is that we make an effort for God. What is the measure of success? The parable of the talents tells us that it is making the most of the opportunities that God gives us by trying, and not ‘playing it safe’.