I love it when someone suggests a long word for something you’ve been thinking about but didn’t have a way of describing. This week’s word is ‘incarnational’, which basically means living it out, rather than telling people what to do.
I think this is an important word for a movement like SCM. Sometimes we are all guilty of telling people what they should be doing, rather than leading by example. Rather than trying to persuade people to do things, or think in a certain way we need to just act and think and live as though God’s kingdom is here.
So what does that mean for SCM?
It means that we’re not going to debate whether women, students or young people have a leadership role to play in the church. We are going to make sure that everyone is enabled to lead and encouraged to serve.
It means that our events are open to all – regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability or disability. We’re not trying to persuade anyone of the rightness or wrongness of things like equal marriage or women priests we’re just trying to live out our faith in an inclusive and loving God, and model the radical inclusivity Jesus showed in how he treated women, tax collectors and prostitutes. Anyone can come along and encounter God’s kingdom in all its wonderful diversity.
It means that we’re not going to issue policy statements on all sorts of controversial topics, because actually we’re too busy living God’s kingdom, loving, caring, listening and building friendships across divisions. That’s the only way that anything will change anyway.
It means that we’re not going to just say that we’re ecumenical; we’re going to be ecumenical – in our prayer and worship, in our work for justice.
And hopefully, others will follow.