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Communion Meditations (2020)

 

Ghost Ship

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 Ship.

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 coming.

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 be ready.

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