THE PEACE-MAKING MOTHER: READING JOHN 2:1-12 IN THE CONTEXT OF RWANDAN POST-GENOCIDE WOMEN
AbstractIn John’s narrative of the Wedding at Cana, Jesus’ mother displays key qualities which contribute to the resolution of a crisis. Her awareness of the problematic situation before anybody else, her belief that a solution could be found, her initiative in taking the first step toward finding a solution, and her influence beyond blood ties extending to the servants, all contribute to the accomplishment of the sign at Cana. The miracle that resolved the crisis was executed by the powerful Jesus but at the instigation of his wise mother who received little credit. The hosts were saved from shame and embarrassment, the disciples’ faith strengthened and Jesus glorified. The atmosphere of peace and joy was maintained at the wedding because of Jesus’ mother’s initiative. Her attitude serves as an inspiration for women in today’s society, in the African context and specifically in Rwandan post-genocide context. Jesus’ mother is a mirror for Rwandan women who are challenged to contribute to building peace in their context. This essay adopts an African Inculturation hermeneutical framework inspired by the work of the late Justin Ukpong, which makes the context of the African reader the subject of interpretation. The narrative of John 2:1-12 is read from the perspective of Rwandan women in peace-making roles in situations of conflict. We begin with a brief description of the African Inculturation hermeneutical approach guiding the discussion.
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