First Sunday after Pentecost/Trinity Sunday
Adult and Small Child
Jeremiah Sierra is currently the communications manager for Cities of Service, a nonprofit that works to change the way local government and residents work together. He has worked for a variety of other nonprofit organizations and Episcopal churches, most recently Trinity Church Wall Street, where he was the managing editor of the quarterly magazine. He has written for Forward Day by Day and other publications about faith. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three-year-old daughter.
Read: John 16:12-25
Reflect: When your parents or other family members are at work or when you are at school, you can’t see them. But you still know that they love you wherever they are. In the same way, even though we can’t see God, we know that God always loves us. And just as we remember the things our parents and teachers have taught us even when they are not with us, the Holy Spirit helps us remember what Jesus taught us. Jesus taught that God is with us and that God wants us to love each other.
The Holy Spirit is God’s helper. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help us, too. When we feel afraid or confused, we can remember that God’s helper is with us all the time.
Respond: Play hide and seek with a trusted adult. Then talk about the other times when you can’t see each other, like when you are at school, or when your parent or family member is at work. If you miss them, what makes you feel better? Do you remember something they said or what they look like? What is something they told you that you always remember, even when they are not around?
Adult and Elementary Richelle Thompson lives in the beautiful bluegrass of Kentucky, near Cincinnati, with her husband, their two children, a horse, a cat, and two dogs. She serves as the deputy director and managing editor of Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church and publisher of the daily devotional, Forward Day by Day.
Richelle Thompson lives in the beautiful bluegrass of Kentucky, near Cincinnati, with her husband, their two children, a horse, a cat, and two dogs. She serves as the deputy director and managing editor of Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church and publisher of the daily devotional, Forward Day by Day.
Read: John 16:12-13
Reflect: Today is Trinity Sunday, a day that we think about God in three persons. What we mean by that is the idea of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This can be a really hard concept to understand—and lots of adults struggle with it too. One way to think about the Trinity is to consider your own life and the different roles you have: you are a son or daughter, a student, and a friend. You may be an athlete or writer or Lego builder. You have lots of different aspects to you—but you are still you. The Trinity is like that, too. While the ways that God is present and understood by us are different in the roles of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, God is still God.
Respond: Have you ever thought about your parent, grandparent, or another important adult in your life in a different context? Talk to your mom or another adult about what it’s like to be a daughter, sister, or a friend. Ask your dad or another adult about whether his actions and behaviors are different when he is primarily in dad mode versus friend mode. Does this help you think about the Trinity in a new way?
How is God's love revealed through the Trinity?
Adult and Youth
The Rev. Christopher Decatur is the Deacon in Charge at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary. Prior to seminary, Chris served at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, OH as the Associate Minister for Children, Youth, Family, Young Adult and Campus Ministries. Chris also has served this past triennium as “The Chair of The Subcommittee for Racial Reconciliation and Justice for The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music”. Chris comes from an undergraduate degree in Comparative Religion from Cleveland State University and years of studies and practicing of Early Childhood Education at both CSU and as a student at The Catholic University of America.
Read: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Reflect: Growing up, my grandmother would constantly tell me when I would go over to her house that I should “sit down and listen” because she had some wisdom to offer me. Sometimes what she would say would seem so small, but later would be quite profound. Her life experience, her faith stories, and her love for our world, for us, and for God was rich. Though her journey was far from easy as a Black woman who has lived through much oppression, her stories and her resilience brought new perspective, brought hope, and brought guidance to how I may order my steps going forward. Journeying through life, there have been many mentors, guides, and experiences that have been shared with me as wisdom, something that rests below our consciousness and fills our hearts to live a faithful and fruitful life. In Proverbs, we hear about the beauty of Wisdom. She brings a new lens to look out into the world with and keeps us blessed by her presence. This Divine wisdom inspires and ignites our own wisdom that we tend to offer others. That help us to only change ourselves, but in doing so, also change the world for the better.
Respond: There are many saints who live among us who offer us mighty words of wisdom. Who are those saints? How have they impacted your life today? How has their impact on you help bring an even more clear glimpse of heaven here on this earth?
Adult and Adults
Jan Berry Schroeder
Reflect: Psalm 8 is filled with imagery that paints a picture of God’s glory. Glory is a word where the definition changes. Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists it as a noun, interjection and a verb. It can mean bestowing honor or praise, used to express surprise, or can be something marked by resplendence and beauty. Look it up in a biblical resource and often the word can be something of substance like the manna in Exodus that came when the glory of the Lord appeared in a cloud (Exodus 16:10). One definition does not do justice to all that “glory” can mean. Often, when we think of God’s glory, we picture a sunrise or sunset in vivid Technicolor. Or, we recall a fierce storm we witnessed with blackened skies and winds that howled. The Psalmist names everyday glory calling the heavens “the work of God’s fingers” and names “the moon and the stars set in their courses,” and the majesty praised “above the heavens” that comes out of the mouth of babes. It is made clear that all we have been given – all that is around us, is the work of God’s hands and the only response is “…rejoicing before God always” (Ps 8:30). What better way to respond to God’s glory?
Respond: Breathe into this moment creating stillness within. Follow your breath in and out – feeling yourself settle just briefly, away from the busyness of the day. Soften your gaze on something from the natural world: a flower, a piece of fruit, a stone, a drop of water, a person, the sky, sunlight streaming outside or through a window. Consider where your gaze lands and see it as a gift-in the presence of now – a work from the hand of God. Smile, say a silent thank you, give a nod-whatever symbolizes to you giving thanks and praise to God.
-Jan Berry Schroeder
Download a printable copy of this week's reflections HERE.