‘How could we envision a more just and equal world for everyone as the world reopens after Coronavirus?’
As the world reopens after coronavirus, we have a unique moment as a society and global community to change direction and strive for a more just and equal world. As Christians, our first inspiration for our direction of travel should always come from holy scripture. In Micah 6:8, we read:
‘He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’
This gives us a neat three-point plan as to how we could, in general terms, learn from the fractured relationships in society that coronavirus has exposed once again and change for the better.
1. Do justice
Justice for communities we have forgotten about
As a society, we have become introspective. We tend to look after ourselves and, if we feel like it, our friends and family. We have conveniently overlooked other communities that in many ways have felt the brunt of the pandemic worse, our asylum seeker and refugee communities and the BAME community. We need to do more as a society to integrate and live in harmony.
Justice for those living in poverty
Lockdown brought with it an unprecedented effort to house those without a home in temporary accommodation, including hotels and hostels that otherwise remained vacant. If we are able to do this when push comes to shove, why is it okay to stand by allow people to live without shelter on normal times? If we have the facility to end homelessness in the UK, we should.
Justice for our key workers
As a key worker during the pandemic, I saw first-hand the sudden shift in society’s attitude to some of the forgotten heroes that keep our country running. Nurses, social carers, emergency service personnel, supermarket workers, to name but a few of these key roles that are some of the lowest paid careers. We have seen now the real truth of who are the key workers in our economy, let’s now see their worth recognised and have fairer pay for all.
2. Love kindness
Kindness to ourselves, working at Jesus’ pace
What do we need to have a full life? Are we over facing ourselves with social media and business of modern life? Lockdown gave so many people the chance to slow down and families the chance to reconnect with one another and rediscover what’s important. We need to be kinder to ourselves and find a way to make spending quality time with those we care about more permanent.
Kindness to our environment
The lockdown allowed the the lungs of the earth to breathe again. We saw empty motorways, less toxic emissions from heavy industry, God’s creatures returning to their natural habitats. We need to think about how can continue to see the same peace and tranquillity after the pandemic. This will help us in our continued campaign to stop the damage of global warming.
Kindness to our international community
When difficult times come around, it’s our instinct to keep our own house in order without thinking about what the neighbours do, even on the international stage. We want to go about finding our own vaccine, we don’t want to work with others. At the same time, we’re slashing our international aid budget and walking away from a vision of a world of equal opportunity. Let’s learn how to be kinder and reconcile with other countries, striving for the common good.
3. Walk humbly with God
We are not in control, God is
We need to know who is boss. We need to remember who it is we live for. All of our decisions come with consequences and we must always remember that we are seeking in all we do to please God and bring his kingdom on earth.
Remember our God-given responsibilities
In Psalm 8, we are reminded of our responsibility as humans to be stewards of God’s creation, having dominion over the works of God’s hands. Too often we have fallen short and neglected ourselves, our brothers, our sisters and our natural world. We need to remember our task of looking after one another and striving for justice and equality for all that God has entrusted to us.
Say sorry, press pause, restart
As we come out of the other side of the pandemic, having had time to reflect on our past failings and how we can strive for a better world, together we need to say sorry to God, press the pause button and then restart. We need to take a fresh look at the world and walk humbly with God, reliant on his strength and his guidance for how we may seek justice and strive for equality.