1. Sharing Meals Together
Before COVID, we had friends over to eat on a regular basis. We took for granted being able to gather with anyone and everyone we knew. I’m not a great housekeeper, so I get a little stressed about cleaning for company, but it’s so worth it. I enjoy the cooking and baking part. Once I get it all on the table and friends are gathered round, I love the feeling of all of us seated together sharing food and stories. I have missed that, and now it seems sacred to me.
Obviously, I’m not the first one to consider a meal sacred.
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread (1 Corinthians 10:16 KJV).
I realize this is referring to the communion meal and has a wider application, but I think it’s significant that Jesus chose a meal—and I believe it was a full meal at that time, not just tiny wafers and tiny cups—as a way to bind people together. The act of sharing food has an effect of uniting us. In some countries, bread is considered sacred, not to be wasted in any event. “Breaking bread” together is a ritual I am thrilled to be returning to after months of avoiding gatherings.
2. An Abundance of Food
As I plan to have friends over this weekend, I will cook and bake, and they will bring dishes as well. I have no worries about the amount of food we will share. Remember the empty grocery shelves a year ago? I remember shortages of bread and canned goods, and of course, toilet paper. The year 2020 taught us the food we take for granted could one day be in short supply. I’m not advocating hoarding; on the contrary, I think we should celebrate. We can be thankful to God for the abundance we once again experience and trust him to provide in the future.
3. The Local Farmer
In 2020, when grocery stores were struggling to keep up with supplies and extra sanitation requirements, the small local farm we support experienced an increase in demand for their produce. People began to realize the value of the local farmer. It took a bout of cancer for us to invest in organic food and local farms. Many others turned to them during the pandemic. I hope we remember that pandemic or not, local food is healthier for us, and the local farmers respect the land and the animals in ways the large industrial farms do not. They will not survive without our support. It shouldn’t take cancer or a pandemic, but if it did, let’s learn from our past mistakes. We need the small farmers, and they need us.
As we gather, let’s do it with joyful gratitude, thanking God for what he has brought us through. We also need to remember those who are still struggling because of the virus and also those who do not have enough bread. I am thankful to God and to the local farmers who supply our vegetables and fresh eggs. Let’s treasure our time together and not take anything for granted as we did before 2020.
“Escaping laterally toward each other, we might just find that everything we wanted is already here.” —Jenny Odell in “How to Do Nothing”
What did you take for granted before 2020? I’d love to hear it in the comments!
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