Imagine the Christian Church as an open table of friends, stretching down every street and into every home. Anyone who wishes to sit at the table may do so, and there they will find themselves alongside the very One who made the table – a poor man, a carpenter. He will feed, serve and love every person, and ask them to feed, serve and love others.
The Table is a vision offered by Bishop Paul Bayes as a basis for Christians living out their faith within a society in which the beauty of Jesus and the attractiveness of the Christian life are not always seen and understood.
Bishop Paul describes the four key elements of living in faith as a friend of God, sitting at the Table:
Meeting at the Table – offering and receiving commitment in our relationships with each other;
Drinking from the Fountain – being nourished by Scripture, creeds and worship;
Watching in the Moment – spending ‘real time’ in prayer with God, and being open to God’s call;
Stretching for the Kingdom – extending the table through witness, justice and inclusion.
Paul Bayes is the eighth Bishop of Liverpool in the Church of England. He was previously Bishop of Hertford.