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Br. John Ryan: We Are God’s Gift

pentecost

Year C Pentecost

John 14:8-17

Br. John starts off by reminding us “St. Dunstians” that May 19th is St. Dunstan’s day and then offers a quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu “Differences are not intended to separate or alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our needs of one another.”

Br John preaches that the gift God gives to us and to the church is US: who we are and where we are in everyday life. Your gift might be being a good teacher or a good coworker. You are God’s gift to your neighborhood and the people around you. You can be God’s gift to the person sitting on the bus with you or the person sitting next to you on an airplane. The gifts of the spirit of God do not have to be a “wow.” The gift can be just listening, listening to the person sitting next to you on the airplane telling you their life story.  A gift might be visiting, calling or sending a “think of you” note to that person in your family nobody talks to. The fact that you thought of that person is the spirit of God working through you.

Pentecost is a gift from our Jewish tradition. 7 weeks and 1 day makes 50 days. This was the festival of the first fruits, the first festival of the year. Historically, the farmers would bring some of their first harvest to the temple as an offering. The first fruit they worked so hard to harvest they offered to God. We can be that fruit.

Br. John asks the congregation to share what their everyday gift is that they offer the world. People stand up and share their gifts. One is a nurse and takes care of sick people, one person does a puzzle and takes it apart to give to somebody else, and one person shares his music.

Br. John reads a line from the community prayer book: “The holy spirit in scripture directs our attention to injustice. It calls for justice. The Holy Spirit comes to us on behalf of the risen Christ to comfort us and empower us to bring Christ’s love to others.” Br. John ends his sermon by encourages us to read the scripture and bring the love of Christ out into the world.

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