The context is Paul's third missionary journey. Luke is with Paul (notice the word "we"), as are several others who assist Paul. They have arrived at Troas. Acts 20:7 and following describe what happens at a church gathering.
As we read 20:7-11, we see three aspects of the meeting that stand out. I'm not talking about the miraculous healing, but rather three characteristics of the gathering that would have been repeated when the church got together. First, they met on Sunday. Second, they gathered together to break bread. Third, they spent significant time talking with each other.
Since Paul was present, we can safely surmise that he gave approval to this church gathering. Since this is the case, it makes sense that our gatherings today should closely follow this model. But do they?
First, the church in Troas gathered on Sunday. Most churches in the USA still gather on this day. Does this hold much theological significance? I would say no. Certainly Jesus' rising from the dead on Sunday is important, but to say that a church gathering must occur on this day of the week seems rather silly to me. Despite this, most churches assemble this day.
Second, the church in Troas broke bread together. But notice something significant; this appears to have been the purpose of their gathering. The text says, "when we gathered together to break bread." The best assumption is that this describes the celebration of the Lord's Supper, which would have been a full meal. Does the meal have theological significance? It certainly does since we are commanded to celebrate it. It is a tangible reminder to us of Christ's death, resurrection, and promise to return. Despite this significance, most churches celebrate the Lord's Supper relatively infrequently.
Third, Paul talked with them long into the night. Luke uses a word that tells us that Paul talked, discussed, had a conversation with them (he did not "preach" to them. The KJV got that translation incorrect). In fact, the word Luke uses for what Paul did is closely related to our English word for "dialog." Take note that Acts 20:11 tells us, "And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed." Part of the reason he spent so much time with them most likely had to do with the fact that he wasn't in Troas very often. However, we still see that this church spent significant time conversing. Their gathering was one of multiple-direction conversation. Is this theologically significant? The simple answer: Yes! What might the people have said? Hebrews 10:24-25 provides us with a clue, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
In light of what we see of the church gathering in Troas, of which the Apostle Paul was a part, we should ask ourselves if our gatherings measure up. Do we look like them?
-Do we meet on Sunday? Frankly, this probably isn't that important as long as we are gathering regularly some time. Interestingly, this is the one aspect of the Troas gathering that most of today's churches emulate.
-Do we meet together to break bread? In other words, do we come together to eat, celebrating the Lord's Supper? This is certainly significant theologically. It is also an act of obedience. Let's celebrate this full meal together as a joyful occasion.
-Do we spend time talking, conversing, engaging in dialog with one another? This is extremely important. It is how we stir up one another to love and good works. We should ask if our gatherings provide us with ample opportunity to speak in a relaxed setting with one another. If not, then why not?
Let's let the bible inform all we do. This short passage tells us much about church gatherings. We would benefit a great deal from reading it and learning from it. May we strive to be a part of church gatherings that look like what we see in scripture.