Written by Angela Nelson. Posted in Light and Life

Before I was born, my parents thought they were expecting a son. I was to be named Samuel for the Biblical prophet, and to follow in Dad’s unfinished footsteps through seminary and on to Pastor-hood. Just in case they were wrong, the baby room was painted yellow and green and covered in Snoopy.

When I ended up a daughter instead of a son, Dad named me Angela, and the baby room stayed yellow and green until my little sister, born six years later, decided in Jr High to paint it purple.

We’re such opposites, my little sister and I. It’s a good thing, too, because each of us was our own kind of handful. Maybe that’s why there are six years between us.

Thinking about this second article of the Creed, I know we can get caught up on the first article’s ‘Father’ language, but I wonder what sorts of expectations were placed on Jesus as the firstborn son, aside even from those of his being the Messiah. Not only do we treat boys from a young age as though there is a particular way they are to be, but the images we have of the father-son relationship are usually pretty clearly different from the father-daughter or the mother-son combinations.

What do we expect of the boys growing up among us? How do we show it? How do we teach them, and learn from them? What is it like to watch a son take on new responsibilities, or to learn to stand up for what he believes is right and catch heck for it?

How do we remind the boys in our lives, as God reminded his Son at the Jordan, that they are beloved and worthy? That they have nothing to be but themselves, regardless of what the voices of everyone else around them might shout or promise?

Even when we do not get what we expect out of our children, boys or girls, how does God reveal love and grace and mercy and creativity to us through them?

Only Son of the Father, teach us to love and appreciate the children in our community, just as you love the Son.  Amen.