In John 13:14 we read “If I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
This commandment of Jesus – which has been largely ignored by the Church – speaks of divine equity: our Lord is our servant; we with Christ in us should serve. What a powerful statement this is against inequity and pride. We frequently noticed with alarm rising inequalities; the Head of Westminster School after the nearby Grenfell fire bemoaned growing inequality. But we did little about it.
Even after the COVID crisis, a major group whose income has not fallen at all has been that of male bankers. COVID-19 has killed a higher proportion from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) group than white: the first ten doctors that died were all BAME. The emotional power behind the Black Lives Matter campaign has been enhanced by the realisation of the inequities in our society and in our recounting of its history. David Olusoga and others are refashioning our history in terms of the losers as well as the winners. Our observation of inequalities and insecurities have fuelled the growing success of the campaign for a Universal Basic income (UBI) where all share in the wealth of society to which we all contribute, instead of a few receiving exorbitant salaries and bonuses for jobs which are sometimes socially useless.
In the new normal, we as Christians must advocate equity and service as Christ exemplified.