It's a familiar image: Jesus and his 12 disciples gathered for their last meal together, as depicted by Leonardo da Vinci.
As well known as that painting is, how many of us have stopped to wonder about the men with Jesus?
What were they thinking? What had brought them to this place? Who are they?
A special Easter drama presented by the First Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant seeks to answer some of those questions.
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Called "The Living Lord's Supper," the presentation allows the men in the painting to come to life, telling their own stories through words and music.
This year's presentation is not the first for the folks at First Baptist. A former pastor and his wife, Ron and Debbie Roberts, introduced them to this play a few years ago. The Robertses now live on the N.C. coast and have been commuting five hours each way to direct "The Living Lord's Supper" in Mount Pleasant.
Diane Cates assists with the production and said it takes a good number of people to get everything done. People are happy to be involved year after year, she said: It's like riding a bicycle - their parts come back to them, and they know what to do.
But some don't have that advantage. Michael Steiner is playing the apostle John for the first time. Steiner said learning the lines is not too difficult, and having seen the presentation a few years ago, he's familiar with it.
Steiner said what's interesting about John is that he underwent a marked change in attitude and demeanor from the day he met Jesus to the time depicted in this play.
Ed Creed - who plays Matthew and is growing a beard to look more authentic - said Matthew was a tax collector and was looked down upon in society. His being a disciple allowed religious leaders to question the company Jesus kept.
As each disciple begins to speak, Creed said, he has just learned from Jesus that one of the 12 is a traitor. So as each finishes, he wonders whether he could be the guilty one.
"The Living Lord's Supper" will be at 7 p.m. April 22-23 at First Baptist Church, Lee Street, Mount Pleasant. Admission is free. A nursery will be available for small children.
These church members are much like the disciples in da Vinci's painting: Ordinary people called to bear witness to extraordinary times. How wonderful to be able to hear their voices!
More young geographers
When I wrote about Ty McDowell, a fifth-grade student at Mount Pleasant Elementary who qualified to compete at the state National Geographic Bee, I suggested he might have been the first Cabarrus County student to do so for many years.
Since then, I've learned of several other local students who have recently represented the county at the state bee.
Congratulations to all of them; it's gratifying to know we are surrounded by so many geography geniuses.