An Advent Message from Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina

Drape the stage with purple, and also the footlights. It is antiquities’ color for royalty, and preparing for royalty is what Advent is all about (though some troupes these days are using a blue tint). It is not just that we prepare the audience during this season for an annual celebration of Christ’s birth, of course we do that.

What is often forgotten, however, or altogether missed by the secular stage and many non-liturgical playhouses as well, is that the first movement of Advent is to put us in mind of the Second Coming of Christ. Consequently the background music should have mystical qualities now and then. As I’ve mentioned on previous occasions, Advent begins with the end in mind. Therefore the opening scene trumpets Jesus’ promise that he shall come again in glory at the close of the age. Wisely we begin with this reminder of how it all shall end. It’s like this, if you’re going to move a piano the first thing you should know before setting your shoulder to the upright is where you’re going to move it. Similarly, when you begin afresh a new theatrical year the pertinent question to ask is where or at least how things are going to end up. If you know in advance the denouement of all performances and the plot of every play will climax in the reign of Christ and his kingdom on earth then it is helpful to take reconnaissance of that before writing a script for how you’re going to spend your time. You don’t want to miss the final curtain call because you decided to take a coffee break or made a wrong turn….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops