The Fierce Urgency of Now: A Call for Justice, Unity, Healing, and Reconciliation

The Fierce Urgency of Now:  A Call for Justice, Unity, Healing, and Reconciliation

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is no such thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is the time for vigorous and positive action.”

~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, 1963 March on Washington

During the March on Washington, King, eloquent orator and visionary leader of the civil rights movement, reminded us of the “fierce urgency of now.” Today, 57 years later, those words resonate with even greater urgency in light of recent events. In soaring oratory, he reminded our divided nation we need one another; we are stronger marching together—if only we let go of our illusion of separateness. We have witnessed, in utter horror, the deaths of George Floyd, Brionna Taylor, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, among, sadly, too many others. We know “this is no time for apathy or complacency.”

The legacy of King, and the civil rights icons who journeyed with him, inspire me to be a “builder of a Beloved Community.” His words “the human family,” “the world’s house,” and the “world-wide neighborhood” resonate profoundly and reinforce our interconnectedness.  We find ourselves today, yet again, with the moral imperative to heed a call for justice, unity, healing, and reconciliation, that is long overdue. We find ourselves on the very precipice of change, in times of tumult, in times of pandemic, yet in times of a potential spiritual revolution, and in powerful solidarity with our brothers and sisters all across America, and in the world at large. We see that “tomorrow is today” and recognize “the fierce urgency of now.”

Enough is enough! All life is sacred; all are equal before the law, and all are children of God, created in His very image.  We must wholeheartedly decry the systematic racism perpetuated in our social structures and institutions in American culture for over 400 years.  As MLK reminded us in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. Tied together in a single garment of destiny.” There is no time to tarry. We must tell our testimony of togetherness, our testimony of truth and justice for all.

It is our quest, today and tomorrow, to make manifest the creation of a loving, safe, compassionate, and forgiving world, where we live by the Golden Rule and love our neighbors as ourselves. We pray that our Creator directs our hearts, hands, minds, and spirits, so that we continue transformational work to be truly One Spirit. There is no turning back. The time for debate and division is past. The time to join together in solidarity is upon us. We choose unity. We extend the call for justice. We pray for healing. We seek reconciliation. We pledge for “vigorous and positive action.”  We, in unity as compassionate clergy and sacred activists, recognize “the fierce urgency of now!”


Dr. Susan C. Brown