Mercy and Judgement

The judgment of the world is rarely tempered by mercy, making us apt to misidentify the world’s sufferings as the judgment of God. The film News of the World tells the story of Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, whose wife died of cholera while he was fighting in the American Civil War. Upon returning finally to his home, he meets with a longtime friend, Willie, who describes the circumstances of his wife’s death; Kidd interprets these as God’s judgment for the things he saw and did during the war. Willie disagrees: “We lived. She died. It’s not judgment. It’s just what we had to face, carry the rest of our days” (directed by Paul Greengrass [Universal Pictures, 2020], 1:40–1:42). To interpret such tragedies as the judgment of God ignores the mercy offered in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

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