Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter is not a time for groping through dusty, musty tomes or tombs to disprove spontaneous generation or even to prove life eternal. It is a day to fan the ashes of dead hope, a day to banish doubts and seek the slopes where the sun is rising, to revel in the faith which transports us out of ourselves and the dead past into the vast and inviting unknown.

~Author unknown, as quoted in the Lewiston Tribune
He is Risen!

Stacked eggs....and lots of them!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday ushers in Easter observances
Friday, April 6, 2007
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SPARTA — Hopatcong resident Neil Anderson is usually clean-shaven with a flat-top haircut, but come Thanksgiving, he lets his locks and beard grow.

Why? Because for one Thursday night in spring, he has to look like Jesus.

"I really dive in," he said.

For the last four years, Anderson, 44, has portrayed the son of God in a Last Supper reenactment at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. On Thursday night, he and the 12 "apostles" sat at a long table-clothed table straight out of the Roman era.

A captive, standing-room audience took in the seventh annual performance and followed the actors into the sanctuary, or, for Thursday's purposes, the Garden of Gethsemane.

Marty Nielson, 72, of Sparta, used to play Jesus, but he "betrayed himself" and now portrays Judas Iscariot.

"Anderson makes a better-looking Jesus than I do," he quipped.

Nielson likes to joke he went "from the top to the bottom," but he has an important role to play.

"You have to kind of put yourself in a deal of being ostracized by the rest of the Apostles," he said.

In a new feature this year, the actors froze in the exact pose of Leonardo Da Vinci's
famous painting, while Jesus quietly told Judas the betrayer to "Do what you have to do."

At night's end, the apostles took items from the altar and left Jesus alone in the "garden," with only his prayers to the Father.

"All the accoutrements are getting stripped away, and it gets down to the bare fact that he is about to die," Anderson said of the scene's impact.

As the holiest week of the Christian calendar advances toward its culmination, churches throughout Sussex County today will observe the solemn sacrifice of Good Friday before the rebirth contained in Easter Sunday.

Performances such as the one at Shepherd of the Hills bring the Easter story alive, especially for children. The audience Thursday could take in Biblical details, including the Challah bread made by Anderson, and that Apostle Matthew, played by Joe Krieg, of Andover Township, was a tax collector by profession.

via the New Jersey Herald