Babette’s Feast – Truth and Grace

There is a moment in this sumptuous film, about a refugee celebrating the town that has taken her in with a lovingly prepared feast, when one character, the General, stands up and delivers a speech about mercy and truth embracing. The author Philip Yancey dedicated a whole chapter of his book What’s So Amazing About Grace to this film. It’s a story (originally written by Out of Africa’s Karen Blixen) about generosity and kindness and of course redemption. Good change coming into meagre lives and bringing blessing with it.

Part of the General’s speech draws on Psalm 85.

Unfailing love and truth have met together.
Righteousness and peace have kissed! (verse 10)

And the following verse goes on to say –

Truth springs up from the earth,
and righteousness smiles down from heaven.

I love that image of righteousness smiling down on us. Those two lines conjure up for me another image of Easter. The cross springing up from the earth, carrying the one who is the way, the truth and the life. And then two days later, the son rising with the dawn as heaven smiles on the earth. I won’t spoil the film by saying much about it here. if you can, watch it. If only for the sights and sounds of the food bubbling away in the kitchen. And top share in the experience of a community who were surprised by generosity, joy and the life that keeps on giving.

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