"It's been awhile since we had a shot together"
I took a shot for the first time in 2 years…
Oh relax it was communion.
Yes. I snapped a picture as my friend prayed for us before we took communion today. While fully in tears. I didn’t exactly know why I was taking the picture but I knew I had to before he finished the prayer. You gotta remember… I’m a dad and content creator… I took this picture without even unlocking my phone or losing a word of the prayer.
I took communion, today, for the first time in over 2 years.
I woke up in a SHITload of pain today. Couldn’t sleep til about 5am. Could only sleep til about 8:30am. In and out of consciousness for the next couple hours.
My boy AC called me. Said he was gonna slide through in a little bit. He came around 11:30am and I was about to get in the shower. I’m so socially “out of practice” now… I didn’t know what to do when he said that he was at my apartment and I was about to shower. I forgot that he’s one of my best friends and he can literally just sit on the couch and watch TV til I’m done. Or maybe it was the pain… it makes you feel a little crazy. Honestly. Either way, I let him in. Showered. And when I got out and finished getting dressed, I could hear him on the phone pastoring someone. It was funny because he apologized for being on the phone, but for me, I loved it. This house has BEEN a house that ministry lives for some time now… just cool to hear another pastor in it.
I came out after his call and he handed me this little communion cup and wafer pack.
Do you have sacred moments? Moments where time slows down a bit… focus increases… maybe you experience quietness? It doesn’t have to be a religious experience either. I can think of watching my kid sleep … everything melts away and I can just feel the stillness and the calm.
One of the definitions I found said that sacred is “connected with God” … it can totally be for worship (as in this moment I was entering) but I think we can find sacredness outside of the traditional religious construct quite often, actually.
Anyway… I was blindsided by a sacred moment. As I made it to the couch, he gave me this to-go communion cup. I’ve seen the before and I remember thinking that this was VERY Covid inspired. No one is touching your wafer or pouring your wine/juice. It’s all included.
I hadn’t had this sacred moment for over 2 years. I wept.
For those of you who aren’t religious … first of all. Never change. Haha. But… if you are wondering about the significance of the act of communion and what it means to ME…. I want to briefly explain it.
We learn in the Bible that on the night before Jesus was to be arrested and tortured and executed… there was a “last supper”.
Leonardo Da Vinci - You can find this story in the Bible in Matthew 26:17–29; Mark 14:12–25; Luke 22:7–38; and I Corinthians 11:23–25).
Jesus was a very very good teacher and He always used elements that His audience could identify with for His illustrations. He took bread, gave thanks for it, and he broke it. “Take and eat, this is my body.” He then took wine and poured it in a cup and blessed it and said “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28 NIV)
In this moment, you can get the meaning of Jesus’ entire ministry. He came to earth in a human body that would be broken (bread = His physical form broken) and sacrificed (wine = His sacred blood spilled), in order to forgive our sins. Communion is the remembrance and agreement with that sacrifice. It’s a sacred act (FOR ME) because it takes me back to that moment where it clicked that this sacrifice was for ME and for MY forgiveness and to have an intimate and personal relationship with my Father in heaven.
I was telling AC today… since I was 12, I knew that I had to be the man of my house. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that at age 13 I understood the sacrifice that God made for ME (Joel Barnes) and it was a personal and intimate act of love and sacrifice. I needed to be able to KNOW my Heavenly Father EARLY because my earthly father was trippin trippin.
So this. Moment. Helps me to be still and be connected to my Dad because He sacrifices and loves me dearly.
I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t had this sacred moment in over 2… years. I was crying because even the pain disappeared in that moment. I was full of gratitude and remembrance and holiness. It was powerful. I missed it.
And then I ordered a box of Togo communion cups to be shipped to the crib. Why? Because anyone who comes over… if the spirit leads… we’re going to take communion together. Or if no one comes over, Hannah and I will be taking communion at least once a month. I wanna remember… I want to hold space for honor and respect for the God who is carrying me through.
AC would tell me to speak my healing into existence. And I do. I expect 200% healing. Better than new. Matter of fact, I know that I’m already healed… however today… my body hasn’t caught up to that promise yet. But It will. I’m in full confidence.
Why do you think I bought a box of 100 communion kits?! Because eventually we’ll take communion together at a Share. Meeting and I wanna be prepared!! Lol.
I told the story because today, AC was nudged by the spirit to bring me communion and he listened to it and followed through… He had no idea that it had been two years since I had partaken. But God did. AC listened to that nudge. You have probably been getting a nudge to do something for someone… I would just encourage you to do it. You never know what that person is going through and how God can use you to break that cycle of pain.
Now… full disclosure… I’ve had to take a LOT of pain meds today. I’ve been in bed 100% of the day. I’m not discouraged that the pain didn’t stop… I’m encouraged that God’s got people bringing me communion on my most painful days. I’m encouraged that ministry is coming OUT of this apartment almost every single DAY, even if it’s from my freakin BACK. I’m encouraged that my spirit is strong … even when I’m mentally frazzled and losin it, my spirit is strong. Even when my whole body hurts most days… my spirit is strong.
Encourage someone’s spirit today.
I dare you.
Oh. And y’all see where the money goes for your $7/month subscriptions!! Hahaha. It’s communion this month. It was website renewal last month… this project is supporting me. My addiction is spending money on things for the ministry. “Hi, I’m Joel and I’m a ministry-a-holic”.
I have exciting news to share: You can now read Share. The Newsletter in the new Substack app for iPhone.
With the app, you’ll have a dedicated Inbox for my Substack and any others you subscribe to. New posts will never get lost in your email filters, or stuck in spam. Longer posts will never cut-off by your email app. Comments and rich media will all work seamlessly. Overall, it’s a big upgrade to the reading experience.
The Substack app is currently available for iOS. If you don’t have an Apple device, you can join the Android waitlist here.
Discord invite link: https://discord.gg/y2bsPZ6m