Day 4, Advent 2022

Today’s ornament is a picture of a snowflake. This image conjures a hundred others for me because I grew up in the Mid-West where snow is a winter staple. In Zimmerman’s book, she uses this depiction of a snowflake to invoke thoughts of water, and our baptism.

While it may be a stretch for my adult mind at first, if I think of all of the things associated with going out in the snow, I definitely end up at wet! Wet hair, hats, mittens, boots, coats, even our pants are soaked after a good romp in the snow.

When John baptized people in the Jordan River, they came out wet, wet, from head to toe, soaked to the skin. We Catholics do not usually fully immerse people in the waters of baptism, but no matter the method, a part of us is wet. After the ceremony is over we have to be dried.

It is good practice to remember our baptism. It was a time of hope for us, it was our initiation into the church. Our godparents and families stood around us and sometimes held us as we entered into the family of God.

My favorite words from the ceremony are when the priest puts his hand on the person’s head and says, “I claim you for Christ!”

I am mulling over those words today. What does it mean to be one of Christ’s own?

For me, this notion of belonging to Christ gives a sense of belonging. It reminds me that every baptized person is Christ’s person. This includes people I may not agree with and people who don’t worship exactly as I do.

It also includes those who don’t go to church anymore, those who have lost their faith. They are still people of Jesus.

This gives me pause and much food for thought. Am I, as I hustle and bustle around, treating all of my fellow baptized, and even those who are not, as fellow members of my family?

This makes me uncomfortable as I look at my own life.

As I ponder the snowflake and my baptism on this rainy day, I am searching my heart for ways to improve my behavior this Advent, so that I can have the courage to treat everyone I meet as one of the family.

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