Ubumuntu – A deep sharing with one another
‘We are a Mouthpiece for truth and justice’, our 5th M’ as we look to focus on being equipped for our frontlines.
“A person who has Ubumuntu is someone who has greatness of heart. In the context of the Genocide against the Tutsi, Ubumuntu refers to those who selflessly risked their lives to rescue or help those who were persecuted. We can all be champions of humanity by standing against division wherever we live”
This paragraph is found on tags in the shops, and on flyers and posters all around the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda. It is here that I am preparing this week as I attend a theological symposium on God’s jubilee and poverty. The memorial opened its doors in 2004, for the 10th anniversary of the genocide and it is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the tragedy. Located in the middle of the capital city it is a public space of remembrance but also a place to learn from the mistakes of the past and to move forward with a promise. ‘Never again’ says the curator as we talk ‘It is with this in mind that the concept of ‘Ubumuntu’ emerged, to inspire all who visit to uphold this value which drives our nation now.’
Remembering, learning, moving forward with a renewed hope, are all marks of a whole life disciple.
To be a mouthpiece for truth and justice whether we realise it or not, this is something that we get to do everyday. It can be as simple as refusing to engage in gossip at the school gate, or speaking up for the colleague who has been overlooked.
Or it can be bigger – running our patch, the area of responsibility that God has given us, well. Making sure other people get the credit they deserve, ensuring that even those who don’t seem to quite fit in, get heard and listened too.
Big or small, being a mouthpiece for truth and justice looks like standing up – often at a personal cost – to promote good, fair and just practices, and to promote these at home and abroad.
May we each be filled with the courage that we need to follow the call of Ubumuntu and as we remember the sacrifice of Jesus today may we commit once more to be people of justice.