Originally scheduled for November 15
The owners of the old warehouse no doubt prided themselves on being
sharp businessmen. They had taken an old warehouse and converted it
into an artist’s commune. The place had a definite vibe to it. The
owners ignored things like building permits and licenses — such
things are expensive. They ignored the need for fire extinguishers
and sprinklers — even more money. There were two stairways in the
building; the main one was nothing but a stack of wooden pallets. It
was laid-back, cool — and profitable. It even had a cool name: Ghost
December 3, 2016: someone had scheduled a concert in the building
that night. So in addition to the usual collection of artists there
were several guests. A fire broke out. Before anyone could use the
wooden pallet stairway it was consumed in the fire. People were
trapped on the second floor. A total of 36 people died that night.
Firefighters are heroes. Fire inspectors are nuisances. The building
had not been inspected in over 30 years. One fire inspector would’ve
been enough to tell them what might happen.
“Might happen.” It is a natural human tendency to think that the
worst will not occur; if it might happen, it also might not. But
there are some events that don’t fit into the category of “might
happen.” They fit into the category of “definitely will happen.”
Think about it; you’re going to die, unless the Lord returns first.
You don’t know when; you probably don’t know how. But you know
enough to prepare for it. Unfortunately, you can put off the
preparation until it’s too late. Sometimes that’s not wanting to
think about it; other times it’s just simply a failure to remember.
Which is why you get reminders.
Communion is one such reminder. You take it regularly; one aspect of
it is that Christ said he would not partake of it until he did it
anew in the kingdom. Communion is a reminder that Christ is coming
again — and you need to prepare for it.
He said he would come like “a thief in the night.” When we are least
expecting it, at exactly the wrong time, He will arrive. You can’t
make up your mind at the last minute because you won’t know when it
is really the last minute.
He tells us explicitly that no one knows the hour of his coming.
Many people have made bold predictions of his coming, and the date
has come and gone. We just don’t know when — but we know He’s
How can we be sure? In communion you see one of the guarantees of
this: the body and blood of Christ. He makes it clear that this is
necessary for his return in triumph. The resurrection is another
such guarantee: he tells you that you will be raised from the dead —
and he’s the only one who ever predicted his own resurrection before
hand. Finally, you have his promise on the matter. He will return to
judge the living and the dead.
So He is coming back. Take this communion as a reminder: we need to