Public Witness

The Work of Democracy

Allison Tanner

January 22, 2021

As I continue to bask in the joy of Wednesday’s Inauguration – as my hope for what our country can become has been renewed – I’m reminded of the wisdom of Howard Thurman, who speaks to the post-Christmas glow, reminding us that now is the time for us to step up and rise up and continue the work that we have been given – to embody that which we celebrate and to be the people that incarnate our hopes. With a tip of my hat to Thurman, I offer these words to you today:

When the pageantry of the Inauguration is over

When the former presidents and first ladies have returned home

When the musicians and poets and militia are back in their communities

The work of Democracy begins:

To heal our broken country

To build a much more perfect union

To provide affordable healthcare and good public education 

To demand a living wage, safety and benefits for all who labor

To put a stop to displacement and ensure affordable housing

To end deportation and create pathways to citizenship

To release the incarcerated and provide programs for restoration

To claim our nation’s true history and seek repair, 

To restore the voice of vote of all who live in this land

To tend to the wounds of creation (that we’ve inflected)

To become a moral nation and a democratic republic

To embrace our diversity and celebrate all that we are becoming

And as we are living in the season of Epiphany, let us continue the work of Christmas, as well.