Final Judgment: A Parable

On the great day of judgment, all of humanity was gathered in a celestial banquet hall. It was a huge space, with a massive round table in the middle. The table was so big that it accommodated what seemed to be hundreds of thousands of people, probably more. As one looked to the left or the right, there were people as far as the eye could see. Yet somehow, by some supernatural optical phenomenon, one had no trouble seeing clearly everyone seated directly across the table. In a position of prominence was the Almighty herself, who interestingly had an appearance not unlike the way God was portrayed in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian,” yet whose Voice was unmistakably feminine. After a while, some grumbling was to be heard, as people began to take notice of who was present. Finally, a lone voice cried out, a voice with a thick Brooklyn accent, saying, “Hey God, I’m happy to be here, of course, but I see my old neighbor Moshe sitting over there and I know that rotten sonofabitch rascal ought to be in the other place. What gives?” And the Almighty replied, in soft mellifluous tones reminiscent of Lauren Bacall (who was seated to my left, by the way): “Well, just as I asked all of you to love your neighbors no matter what, and to forgive others over and over again, why would you expect me to do any less?” As those words sunk in, heads nodded around the room, and some were heard to say: How can one argue with divine logic like that? The Almighty continued: “Don’t allow your eye to be filled with envy because I am generous.” More murmuring and head-nodding. “As for the other place,” the Almighty said, “there is no other place. Being here with Me is all there is, all there ever was, all there ever can be. What a horrible notion to think I would send anyone away forever. That’s punishment out of all proportion to the crimes, is it not? In any case, it doesn’t matter, because I’m now going to render my Final Judgment. And here it is: I judge you, each and every one of you, every single human being who has ever lived, to be my children, my friends, my lovers, whom I cherish with all my heart. I welcome you to this special banquet, prepared just for you.” And there were audible gasps, and many sighs of relief, to be heard around the room.

Comments (3)

  1. Tim B

    Nice thoughts.

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  3. Nathan Shenk

    What I wish about God and the Final Judgment is that there would be an accounting for all the wrong done in this world and that God would make a way for restitution to be paid by all guilty parties. There would be no Hell; instead there would be a holding station for the people who are dangerous until they can be changed for the better. Everyone could be reconciled to each other. The victims in this life would have nothing to fear in the life to come, while the oppressors could not cause anymore hurt. I don’t want it to be a cakewalk for everyone to get in Heaven like the above parable makes it out to be. I want it to take the hard work of making things right with those I’ve hurt in this life. Heaven would be all about making things right. Ideally we would work on making things right on earth, but sometimes we die before we either want to make things right or before we get a chance to make things right.

    This is all just a dream really, because why would God conform to what I think is right? This is what my conscience tells me is right, but it differs from the Bible, which is our only picture of God, so it is meaningless. I have to follow my conscience over the Bible, but I must realize that in rejecting the Biblical picture of heaven and hell, I am in essence saying that God doesn’t exist. In the end I think the best thing to do is work for reconciliation on this earth, because I don’t know of any life to come after this. So instead of trying to make God into someone that I like, I think it is better to live according to my conscience, which tells me I should work to make this world a better place.

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