This is not going to be a preparation for baptism as you know it. Rather, we begin a preparation for the Baptism of the Lord which happens this coming Sunday. A couple of points to keep in mind. While the rest of the world has moved on from Christmas, we have not. Christmas in our liturgical season always ends with the baptism of Jesus. Some years that falls on a Sunday, like this year, other years it will be on a Monday. Where the rest of the world begins their Christmas celebration with all kinds of worldly things right after Thanksgiving, we move forward spiritually considering the quiet years of life when Jesus was at home with Mary and Joseph. From a newborn babe to a toddler on the run from Herod, to being lost in the temple, to now, a young man ready to begin His ministry. We watch His growth in wisdom and in favor of God.
The first letter from John will be read this entire week in preparation of the Baptism of the Lord. It is special in the sense that scholars believe it is the same John who wrote the Gospel of John. As we read the different passages you get the impression that John is teaching us more about Jesus, more in the sense of his personal relationship with Jesus than what was shared in the gospel. Through his sharing you are drawn into this spiritual community. With baptism, we will become one body, one spirit in Christ.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and if the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen