Easter flowers in Trinity Church — bright and soft pink, yellow, and white flowers with a stained glass window in the background
Photo: Margaret Streeter

A Reflection on John 15: Envisioning a Human Way of Loving

The Gospel this week seems to be made for Mother’s Day: it is all about love. Jesus embodies love and teaches love. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

When we imagine a mother’s love, we often think of it as unconditional, steadfast, and unwavering. Of course, we know that isn’t always the case. But when we try to envision a human way of loving that gives us a glimpse of what Jesus is calling us to, a mother’s love is a good place to start.

The origins of Mother’s Day also resonate with the Gospel and our world today. Before the Civil War, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, a faithful Christian in West Virginia, organized Mothers’ Day Work Clubs that sought to improve sanitary conditions. They raised money for medicine and helped families with mothers suffering from tuberculosis, among other supports.

During the war, Ann Jarvis made sure the Mothers' Day Work Clubs provided relief to both Union and Confederate soldiers. After the war, with tensions still high between those who fought on opposite sides, she “organized a Mothers’ Friendship Day…to bring together soldiers and neighbors of all political beliefs.” It was a great success despite the fear of violence.

As we sort through the loss and pain from the pandemic amidst intense political and social division in our country, I often wonder, “What do we do now?”

In her recent sermon, Mother Kristin Miles said, “Offering what is only ours to give — our life — is not just a one-time grand sacrifice, but the sharing with others of what constitutes it: our time, energy, attention, voice, affection, skill, wisdom, creativity, honesty, vulnerability, physical strength, and resources.”

I imagine each of us can find something from this list we can give. Jesus’ commandment to love one another and Ann Jarvis’ witness following that commandment point the way: we root ourselves in God’s love and find ways to share that love with those around us.

Ruth Frey

Ruth Frey is Director, Community Program and Public Life, Faith Formation & Education at Trinity Church Wall Street. Share your thoughts or questions with her.

Children’s Time 

Sundays at 10am | Online

Children and their families are invited to learn together Sunday mornings. We’ll begin with an opening assembly, including a prayer and a song, then break into small groups for a time of exploration and community.

Godly Play (Preschool and older) — An interactive storytelling circle of wonder, faith, and play, followed by hands-on activity and sharing.
Story: Knowing Jesus in a New Way
Response Time: Drawing, coloring, and collage materials

Whole People of God (2nd Grade and older) — An interactive multimedia exploration on the week's liturgical themes with hands-on arts activities and sharing.
Lesson Theme: Who’s in?
Activity: “Gentile” = __________

Register to join.

This meeting opens early at 9:10am for the Family Service Watch Party — join us! If you are already registered for Children’s Time, we will meet on the same Zoom link. No need to register again.

Discovery: Evicted in the American City

Sundays at 10am | Online

Join the Discovery community as we explore the complex causes and impact of eviction on our neighbors and consider what it means for our Christian vocation.

Over these six weeks, our learning and reflection is centering on Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. In his book, Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. He transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of 21st-century America’s most devastating problems. The scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible. Learn more about Desmond’s work.

We will also learn from members of the Trinity Grants team about eviction in New York City, how Trinity Church grant recipients are working to prevent homelessness, and what we can do to help our neighbors.

Register to join.

Spiritual Resources