Over the past few days I’ve been reminded again and again of one of the greatest hardships brought about by social distancing and lockdowns is the lack of meaningful human interactions. This afternoon, I was able to have lunch with an old friend I haven’t seen since the lockdown. It reminded me of the description of the early followers of Christ who, “broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:46).
We don’t use the term “breaking bread” very often anymore, but most of us do value a meal. Time together at family meals can be valuable if we take advantage of the opportunity. Meals play a central role in the development of friendships. Most first dates include a meal, don’t they? And in my professional career, I’ve been able to learn more about my customers over lunch or dinner.
The New Testament is full of instances of breaking bread. Much of Jesus’ ministry revolved around the table. Jesus ate with Zaccheus, He shared a meal with more than one religious leader, He taught His disciples while sharing a meal. He told parables about meals and celebrations and instituted the shared meal of communion with His Last Supper.
Today’s event was a simple lunch between friends, but we did “eat together with glad and sincere hearts” because we talked about things that matter. We talked about our shared faith. We told a few stories. We discussed the state of our world and the state of our families. He told me about some future plans with his new job and about the process of moving to their new city.
In short, it was the opposite of social distancing and I would suggest you close the distance between you and others.