You know the story. Martha complains about her slacker sister, and Jesus gently rebukes her. Martha comes out looking like a nag and Mary gets all the glory. But in my fantasy, there's a different ending to this story. What happens instead is: Jesus looks up to see Martha rushing about, trying to accommodate everyone's needs and still get a special meal on the table, and after a thoughtful minute, Jesus says to her: "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Come, sit down here by me. Boys—Peter, James, John, and all the rest—the kitchen is yours. Call us when dinner is ready."
Because we are basket cases, we can be like a baby, blissfully unaware of a lot of things, until something suddenly goes Bump! Something big and terrible makes our basket jump. We wake up and frantically look up. And what do we see? One of those infamous Nile crocodiles! You know, I never thought about there being crocodiles in that river with baby Moses. But I shouldn't be surprised. There are plenty in the river of life. Now before we all panic, there's something we need to know: there is Someone on the bank of the river, and that Someone is standing there, watching us and waiting for the opportunity to dive in and pull us out of d' Nile, so that we can live a new life. There's rebirth waiting for us on the far bank of the river.
Every morning, we can look in that mirror and play the judge and throw ourselves into a lake of fire, just so that no one else can beat us to it. And then we can spend the rest of the day putting other people there, too. It's a sick twist on the Golden Rule: If we really try, we can treat others just as badly as we treat ourselves! But when we live in that place of hurt and anger and fear, and we start judging, the violence we do to ourselves and others starts spreading. From our neighborhoods to foreign nations, much of the violence we see in the world today started out with ordinary people playing judge and kicking Jesus out of a job. So it's high time we learned a different way. We need a new understanding of Judgment Day.