Friedrich Nietzsche once remarked that “Plato was a bore,” but this snooty remark merely confirms the madman’s madness. Alfred North Whitehead concluded, boring or not, that “the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
Back in 1994 TV viewers all over the world watched transfixed, as South Africa’s first democratically elected president took the oath of office. While a dignified Nelson Mandela addressed the heads of state, many viewers wondered about the man dressed in leopard skins, standing directly behind him with a little flag stuck quaintly in his headgear.
The first three Sundays of Advent speak of an adult Christ and the future reign of God, not of an infant born in the past. Only on the fourth Sunday of Advent do we turn back to the event of annunciation, and then on Christmas Eve to the birth of the Christ child.