Baptism is one of the most important steps that need to be taken in order to move towards a stronger faith in God and Christ. Similarly, in a painting certain strokes and plans might need to be developed first in order for a piece to be completed. In this chapter, the central phrase of the chapter can be said to be, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” Here, the central idea is love. In art, for a piece to similarly be finished, one must have the patience and love in order to create their piece. In Baptism, new love of life arises within the person though often challenges may come in their way they begin to develop a new way of life. Similarly, the strokes to a painting may first begin as simple strokes, but they soon become and create the final painting seen. Below, there are a couple example of how paintings are developed, similarly to how new faith and life is developed with Baptism—which lays out the foundation for a new faithful life.
painting stages of Golden Retriever by Katja Turnsek
Here is one example of how a painting might be created. Each stage is important to adding towards creating the final painting or product. Similarly Baptism has its stages in order to be renewed: 1) Anointing with Sacred Chrism, 2) Clothing with a White Garment, 3) Presentation of a Lighted Candle, and 4) Ephpheta, or Prayer over the Ears and the Mouth. Even after this, duties are to be made after baptism, just as strokes must be delicately made and the central piece of the painting added in. The responsibilities of the holiness of life, building up the Church or the Body of Christ, and proclaiming the Gospel. It is after Baptism where a Christian must begin to follow and change their way of life in the sense that they begin to live their lives in such a way that they begin to truly grow and develop their lives.
In nature, development is another part just as Baptism in a life of faith is. As a bud develops and grows into a flower, as things begin to grow and live on, they also begin to grow stronger and become one with the earth in the same way a Christian develops their relationship with God.
image taken from https://slwablog.com/2014/06/23/drought-season-brings-thirsty-roots/
Above, I have chosen an image of a tree with roots reaching down below underground. To me, this represents the strength of faith and how it might be symbolized in nature. Just like a seed, baptism and faith in God begins to grow into what finally becomes a tree, living its every day life through nature and the environment and the nutrients and water it takes up, just as a Christian may live his or her life through God. Here both Baptism and the tree also share something in common—water. Water is the life given in Baptism and the life given to the tree. It is a gift that Christ has given us. Every day is a blessing from God, and with Baptism new life begins for many Christians—a life connected like roots in every way and a life where people learn to love and share.