…Will to the best of my Ability, preserve, 

protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

So help me God. -U.S. Presidential Oath of Office

In my tradition, today is the day of the Epiphany, or “little Christmas.” Symbolically, it is the day in ancient times when great kings of old knelt before a little baby who was promised to be the ruler of the world…a better world. Dignitaries kneeling before a homeless baby…let the irony sink in. Epiphany literally means “manifestation” and the theologic idea here is God is both made man and divine on this day. Little Christmas. Prepare room in your heart.

I have been thinking a lot about the oath of office that one takes upon entering office of any nature in America. An oath is a promise…I put my life on the line and give my word. So many oaths are broken in these modern days…our promise to preserve, protect and defend…but what is it that we are promising? An ideal? A better way of life? To each other? What? Because today, especially in my daily business, no one has faith in another’s word unless it is in writing. So what do we do with these words that were just spoken by the leaders of this great nation in the U.S. Congress?

We take them to heart…our hearts.

You don’t need an office to make an impact in your nation. I nominate and elect every American citizen to take the oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Why? Because it is a living document…living because we are, and it is our nation we are standing to defend. Too many people are talking glibly about “uncivil war” and calling each other names. I call upon every one of you to take to heart what is at the core of this nation…a small army standing up to the world’s greatest military powers at the time and declaring that “all people (my word) are created equal” endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let that sink into your bones and know that you are part of the manifestation of something that was bigger than big at the time of America’s rising. And let us not let this fire be drowned out by people who have no courage and who think walls are the answer.

Epictetus a Roman Slave is quoted as having said, “Why then are you ignorant of your noble birth? You carry a God about within you, poor wretch, and know nothing of it.” We as a nation have a noble birth and the blessings of our ancestors who have made it happen. What three gifts do you bring to help in the manifestation of something greater? The one thing after my campaign that I think of often is sitting with small children and listening to their concerns…”what has you worried?” I asked them. The resounding answer among the diverse room…war. Let us prepare in our hearts to make sure this does not happen. We can preserve, protect and defend what is greatest about us while making sure those who are the least among us can go to sleep at night knowing they can count on us. It is about civility, but not in the sense that we turn a blind eye. It is about examining what is happening in our country and realizing that this is the time for all of us to look into the mirror…to have an epiphany…about what we all contribute and where we have work to do.

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