Monday, September 26, 2016

Mulberry tree messiness

Haiku of insecure faith

Lord, increase our faith.
Why do you make this request?
You have all you need.

A mustard seed faith
would see you directing trees
and they would obey!

What a metaphor
for faith that is sufficient;
the uprooted tree!

Hail mulberry tree!
Generous red stickiness
and messy fingers.

You have faith enough
to tread discipleship's path;
put it to good use.

Being uprooted,
with red mulberry tree faith
and sticky fingers.


© Ken Rookes 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

They have Moses and the prophets

Haiku for closed eyes.

Poor man Lazarus,
by the gate, covered with sores;
we walk right past him.

The unnamed rich man,
dressed in purple, fine linen,
feasting ev'ry day.

Discarded food scraps
do not reach the rich man's gate
or the beggar there.

Empathy fails us.
Please don't disturb our comfort.
Make the beggars leave.

Death comes to us all.
Rich or poor, it matters not;
was your life worthwhile?

Where are your riches;
From where will your comfort come
when your life has passed?

Send me Lazarus,
or let him warn my brothers
that they might be saved.

That's not how it works.
Let them listen to Moses,
and the prophets too.

We'd rather not know.
Even when it's God who speaks,
we do not listen.

© Ken Rookes 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

Not strong enough to dig, too proud to beg.


Enthusiastically embracing capitalist principles
of wealth, greed, and maximum personal benefit,
together with the dodgy ethics that serve them;
the manager in the story was a little less than honest,
using his master's money to fund his exorbitant lifestyle.
He heard that the day of accounting was due,
and realised that the caper was up.
He proved as cunning as he was corrupt,
dishing out favours at his master's expense,
so that he might call them in later
when he no longer had a job.
Not strong enough to dig,
too proud to beg;
and very clever.
The master,
forced to acknowledge the shrewdness of the scheme,
was presumably rich enough to see the funny side.
With grudging admiration
he allows his shady steward to get away with it.
We also manage to get away with it,
whispering with relief beneath our breath:
That was close!



© Ken Rookes 2016

Monday, September 5, 2016

When the lost are found

Haiku of welcome and celebration

He welcomes sinners,
this fellow, and eats with them.
He must be a fraud.

As was Jesus' wont,
he told them all a story;
driving home his point.

Of his hundred sheep
the shepherd finds one missing,
goes to search for it.

A second story:
a woman loses a coin,
searches high and low.

When the lost are found
there is a great rejoicing;
also in heaven.

The small and the lost,
these, too, are valued by God;
and much loved also.

© Ken Rookes 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Costing Discipleship

Haiku for intending acolytes.

Large crowds of people
travelled with the carpenter;
learning to follow.

Some went with Jesus
for curiosity's sake,
were yet to commit.

Jesus showed the way,
putting his life on the line
for love and justice.

Carrying the cross.
Try to guess what that might mean.
Will I qualify?

It's a costly thing,
the discipleship journey;
look where you're going.

Building a tower
or going into battle:
know what you're up for.

What will be the cost,
will you have enough to win?
Finish what you start.

Jesus calls us all.
Love's costly work is waiting;
Come with me, he says.



© Ken Rookes 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

Haiku of humility and hospitality


Places of honour
are kept for the distinguished;
take the humble chair.

Maybe you'll be asked
to come to a higher seat;
but then, maybe not.

Better to be known
for grace and humility,
and to be content.

Hospitality
when you expect a return
does not count for much.

When giving banquets
invite the poor, the needy;
they can't return it.

Generosity
when it cannot be repaid
is tested and true.

Jesus lived it well;
his life, generous with love
and humility.


© Ken Rookes 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

On the sabbath


Haiku for the religiously observant.

On the sabbath day
the afflicted woman came.
She asked no favours.

Eighteen years of pain,
with body bent and twisted;
Jesus called to her.

Freed by Jesus' words,
standing upright, rejoicing;
giving praise to God.

Religious leaders
speak to defend the sabbath
from such outrages.

Six days for working!
The seventh's not for healing;
come another day!

Get real, says Jesus.
Common sense and compassion
must rule ev'ry day.

Living is empty
if love no longer shapes us;
Embrace its freedom.

The crowd rejoices;
opponents are put to shame.
Don't mess with Jesus.


© Ken Rookes 2016