Details from a watercolor I created some 30 years ago in an art class I took with my Dad, the real artist who inspires me every day.

 

He showed us how to do it. It was the first communion, the last supper, and Jesus demonstrated the act that binds, that heals, that unites.

Breaking bread, pouring wine and offering it to his friends, his disciples, Jesus showed us koinonia — fellowship, sharing in common, communion.

“This is my body, which is for you.”

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.”

Jesus gave himself so that we may live and give.

In service to my church on Sunday, I invited our fellowship to partake of the elements, reminding them that Christian communion remembers God’s sacrifice of His son for our sins. But more, communion calls us to fellowship — with God and with one another.

We partook. We fellowshipped. In the tradition of the diverse group of disciples who gathered around Christ for the first last supper, our diverse gathering communed. And in the tradition of the first church, we celebrated our koinonia.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

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On Sunday evening, I watched with great relief as my Dad, 89, claimed his third new home in a span of three years. It was Dad’s first meal in his new residence, an assisted living facility in his hometown. Three years had taken Dad through loss, relocation and days of confusion. But tonight, he was back home. Seven women, a few with ties to his own childhood, shared this first meal with Dad while he regaled them with stories of all the work he’s done in and around his hometown.

Koinonia: Fellowship, sharing in common, communion

Back in his beloved hometown, breaking bread with friends old and new, Dad feasted on fellowship. It was beautiful and it was good.

Dad stands proudly in front of the beautiful mission-style Catholic church that is being built in his hometown. My parents invested in the building of this church and someday soon, Dad will celebrate mass there. Dad is back in his hometown, where he belongs.