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.
Oh, the majesty and magnificence of God's presence! Oh, the power and splendor of his sanctuary! . . . Mary wrapped him in swaddling clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.