I once read a recommendation about how to have a better family life and better family relationships. The suggestion was to be sure to eat a meal, all together at the same table, at least once a week. I was shocked. Once a week seemed like such a low bar to set. I still think it is a low bar – most families can and should do better than that.
But most of us also live inside of bubbles. We have natural circles of relationships. They include certain people and they exclude others. Over time, our world can be filled with relationships but they can be more homogenous than God might want for us.
So, once a week it would be a stretch to eat a meal with someone different for many of us. But with intentionality, you can eat with someone new who is outside your regular circle of relationships. And all of us can accomplish this once a month, if we simply choose to do it and invite new and diverse people to join us for lunch.
Do you mostly spend time with people of the same race? Then set a goal of meeting new people from other racial backgrounds and begin to invite them to lunch. Do you mostly hang out with people your own age? Then set a goal of meeting people from different age groups and invite someone out for a drink. Or are there other lines you need to cross and relationships you need to expand?
Jesus knew that food was a great foundation from which to ground a relationship. Having a meal with the people we love is a great way to build quality time into those relationships. But being intentional about also eating with new people who are different than us, is a great way to expand our world and find new friends we would never know well otherwise.