By Vicky Richter
This past Lenten season, 13 men from St. James Lutheran, Coopersburg,
stepped into the sandals of Jesus and his disciples as well as into Da
Vinci’s famous rendition of The Last Supper.
The premise of the reenactment is to study a particular disciple for
eight weeks, “getting inside his head” with the aid of scripture
and other texts devoted to the lives of these early followers of Jesus.
Author Carol Spacht devised the weekly study sessions and procedures
for the re-enactment as well as provided a bibliography for Last Supper:
A Living Portrait. The cross-generational drama unites the participants
on several levels.
After the men get to know one another on a more personal level, they
assume the persona of the disciple they will portray in the painting.
The brotherhood of the 13 deepens as, week after week, they share information.
Questioning themselves, their motives and the motives of the other disciples
and Jesus intensifies as they discover their destinies, discuss the life-altering
miracles they have witnessed, and explore the ways they each have betrayed
The good news is that there really isn’t a script that needs to
be memorized. The better news is that the men develop their own script!
Using their “sanctified imaginations,” participants create
a short response to Jesus’ astounding declaration, “One of
you will betray me.” Each also creates lines his character would
say to the others nearby in a dialogue sequence regarding this outrageous
accusation. Finally, each disciple speaks from his heart as he addresses
Jesus in an interior monologue.
Witnessing this reenactment is powerful. Being one of the 13 is extraordinary!