I looked at him blankly. Martin is usually there so I wasn't sure of the relevance of his comment. Baz clarified for me, 'You're leading tonight with him.'
'No, I'm not.'
'Yes, you are. Sean's not here'
Then Martin appeared. 'Ah, good, come here,' he said.
I followed him into the next room where he gave me a sheet of notes. 'Sean gave me these,' he said. 'We're to carry on the discussion about baptism.'
So we were well prepared ...
'I told Sean I 'ate doing this,' Martin said, 'but Sean said "it's good for you".'
I don't mind leading the study at all; in fact I love it. I am thrilled that Sean trusts me and gives me the responsibility. They don't do that at Linden; they all know I'm stupid there. Actually Sean has known for me long enough now; he must have an idea what I'm like ...
But it was fine because everyone is very supportive. Lots of people chipped in the discussion and we didn't go off the point too much. One of the most-asked questions seemed to be, 'Can you get baptised more than once?'
I think the answer is: it depends.
If, like a couple of people said, they felt they were pressurised into being baptised and they didn't really understand the first time then I'm sure it's fine to be dunked again. On the other hand if someone wants to be baptised again because he sees it as a washing away of sins then I'd suggest he needs to refocus. It's Christ who takes away our sins not baptism.
But it looks like, in a few weeks' time, we'll be tripping down to the sea front for some baptisms and a barbecue. Sean will be meeting with people who want to be baptised (for first or second time) and making sure they understand its meaning, and then what a great party we'll have.
And I'm going to have to have a serious word with Sean: five minutes' notice is pushing it!