While coronavirus has created new hardships and difficulties for all of us, wouldn’t it be an incredible opportunity as the world reopens to envisage a more just and equal world for everyone.
An important step that will need to be made is not forgetting the injustices that have been highlighted on social media during lockdown. Social media already plays a big role in influence and communication but this was magnified over lockdown. We all may have heard of the Black Lives Matter movement which spread globally after the cruel death of George Floyd in the USA. Social media played a big role in sharing his experience as well as many other similar experiences that had gone unnoticed or are happening currently. Unfortunately, it also provided an opportunity to use this injustice as a short-term trend which created ‘slacktivism’ instead of a burning desire for justice through activism and allyship. As the world reopens, we need to be able to translate our fast actions over social media into direct confrontation and constant reflection and growth in all of our lives.
Talking about situations of injustice and sharing and solidifying our viewpoints can fill us with such a passion and desire for change. This can be great when hearing the narratives that need to be heard (yet all too often aren’t). But what change are we actively creating through this? In James 2:14-17 he encourages new believers, saying ‘Isn’t it obvious that God talks without God acts is outrageous nonsense?’ He shows the importance of actively creating change in the world because words without actions are not what God calls us for. It is like being in a house that is burning down. Whilst it is great to pray and talk it over, you still need to act and move! In the same way, it is crucial for us to find true justice by making right, past and present wrongs. To help us do this, we have to reflect on the world’s colonial and racist past because this explains how we got to where we are now. This history has many different outputs affecting our world today, such as corruption and systemic racism, but yet all stems from the same cause. So as the world reopens, can we create a more just and equal world for everyone by focusing on our actions whilst reflecting on the past, in order to create long lasting change.
We also need to remember our ‘why?’. Our ultimate purpose is to be a reflection of God on earth and so we should be stepping out into these spaces, bringing glory to God and advancing the earth until it is more like heaven. Meaning activism! Seeing the unequalness of poverty, especially shown in how coronavirus has affected different communities around the world, and seeing the injustice in racial discrimination, should remind us that our position is knelt at the foot of Goodness. And Jesus perfectly demonstrates this Goodness. The Bible says our role is to be salt and light. Salt is to season and influence the taste. Light is to influence the darkness. God calls us to influence the world whilst being distinct. As salt and light, our role is activism and impact, to change something!
God is a God of justice and we can see God in our heartbreak over poverty and injustice. Justice can be understood as ‘just as if sin never came into the world’ and so the mission of God is the pursuit of justice! Two important reminders are that firstly, this mission will not be comfortable until heaven. Secondly, this mission isn’t purely personal because God is on a mission, so we should all follow! Realising that the Bible is not a story of me but of a world in need, will draw us closer to Jesus. He is found with the vulnerable and being a voice for the oppressed. As this is laid heavily on God’s heart, so it should be ours. Therefore, we should never be afraid to confront situations of injustice because we can stand strong in these beliefs knowing it’s creating a more just and equal world for everyone.