This is the first week after Epiphany, and yesterday we celebrated the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. During this event, God proclaims that Jesus is His Son. Hence, this is a special day for us and we celebrate by repeating our vows or the vows that were said for us as an infant and by being sprinkled with water off of a rosemary branch. This is one of two central sacraments celebrated by the church. It is the initiation of each of us into the church, the body of Christ. There was a huge battle in the early church over the mark of membership into the church. Many felt that membership was marked by circumcision, which was a Jewish thing and signified that you were a member of the Jewish people who followed the law of Moses. That was fine for those Jewish males who joined the Way, but it did not work for women or Gentiles (anyone not a Jew). So Paul, with the backing of the church in Jerusalem, tossed out any physical mark of membership, making baptism the central requirement.