Monday, August 3, 2020

It is I, don't fear

It is I, don’t fear

Haiku of uncertain faith

He had healed them,

blessed and fed, instructed them,

then he sent them home.

He stayed by himself

while his friends left in the boat

for the other side.

Finding a high place,

letting go; resting body,

communing with God.

In the boat, his friends,

battered by the wind and waves

were getting anxious.

The story tells us

he came walking through the waves.

It is I, don’t fear!

Command me to come,

if it really is yourself;

the fisherman spoke.

The word was spoken.

Bold Peter walked on water;

then fear reclaimed him.

By ourselves we sink.

Save us, Lord! we cry in fear.

His hand reaches out.

Is it his command

of storms, that prove his Sonship;

or is it his love?

© Ken Rookes 2020

Monday, July 27, 2020


Haiku for the hungry

Seeking solitude,
he found a deserted place,
but the crowd followed.

Sometimes it’s too much,
we all need time for ourselves;
space to think and pray.

Seeing the people,
he was stirred with compassion,
reaching out to heal.

As the sun went down
his friends spoke: Send them away,
they need to buy food.

They need not depart,
I have fed their souls, we’ll find
food for bodies, too.

They brought it to him,
the five loaves and the two fish;
all the food they had.

That should do, he said.
as he blessed and broke the loaves.
They shared them around.

So many people,
so many ways to hunger;
Jesus feeds them all.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Monday, July 20, 2020

It will be like this

Haiku of the Kingdom

Lots of parables;
what will the kingdom be like?
It will be like this!

The mustard seed, small,
sown in a field, growing large;
a home for the birds.

Yeast, mixed with flour,
three measures, causing the bread
to rise and become.

A hidden treasure,
uncovered; sell ev’rything
and purchase the field!

A merchant, searching
for pearls, finds the perfect one;
sells ev’rything else.

The net that catches
all kinds of fish; sort them out,
discard the useless.

Do you understand?
You are like a scribe finding
new and old treasures.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, July 19, 2020

This Gospel Treasure

Haiku for earthen vessels

God’s grace brings us here;
though all should come against us
we will not lose heart.

Embarrassing things,
things that are best kept secret;
we put them aside.

Children of the truth,
rejoicing in the gospel
shining with its light.

Some refuse to see.
For them the light is fearful,
there is no knowledge.

This gospel treasure;
we hold it in the clay pots
of our earthly lives.

What treasure we hold,
what honour God has bestowed!
How shall we use it?

We are afflicted
but not crushed or despairing,
we bear Jesus’ life.

So death is at work
in us. But life, full and free
is at work in you.

Our outer being
falls away, our inner life
is renewed each day.

What can be seen, fades,
gives way to the eternal;
look upon these things.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary for the 26th July 2020

Monday, July 13, 2020

When the harvest comes

Haiku for judging

The kingdom of God,
what is it like? A story

An enemy comes
by night, sows weeds with the wheat,
and then goes away

Good mixed with the bad,
how quick we are to rush in;
how quickly we judge.

Growing together,
weeds and wheat: strange companions,
until the harvest.

Take time, seek the fruits;
these alone will determine
what is good and bad.

Jesus sows the seeds,
the children of the kingdom
produce righteous fruit.

Judgement is waiting
for the children of darkness
at the age’s end.

The righteous will shine
like the sun in God’s kingdom.
Do not wait to shine.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, July 12, 2020

I kept my distance

Haiku of forgiving

I kept my distance.
It was too painful to come
knowing I offend.

My letter was sharp
that things might be sorted out
and the pain subside.

I wished to rejoice,
I had confidence in you.
We should have shared joy

He who caused me pain
brought heartache to all of you.
It has been dealt with.

Forgive and embrace,
let him be restored to you;
reaffirm your love.

You have passed the test,
obedience has led you
to this place of grace.

When we forgive, we
declare that Christ is present.
Grace and love abound!

© Ken Rookes 2020 

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost.

Monday, July 6, 2020

From the beginnjing

From the beginning

From the beginning as continents drifted
God’s Spirit hovered over this land;
sculpting, renewing; rock, tree and lizard,
rainforest richness, waves crashing on sand.

Having sung country into existence,
the Spirit calls out: First Peoples, come!
This is your land now, tend and enjoy it,
step with its rhythms, sing to its thrum.

We thank you, Lord, for this ancient wisdom,
feeling the heartbeat, singing its songs;
harvesting grasses, trapping the fishes
lighting the fires to keep country strong

We thank you, Lord, for this ancient culture
generously shared with recently come.
Help us remember, and to acknowledge
centuries of pain and dispossession.

We thank you, Lord, for being there, present
with those who struggle, cut off from their land;
living in two worlds, seeking a future.
Draw them to yourself, hold in your hand.

Lord we rejoice in the wonder of songlines,
stories in paintings, ceremonies, too;
the deep connections: peoples with country,
Spirit upon them, all peoples in you.

© Ken Rookes 2020
Freely available for use in worship.
Tune: Bunessan.
TiS 156

It is NAIDOC Week (Yes, I know it has been largely postponed until November because of the virus) I couldn't find a hymn that reflected upon our First Peoples, so I had a go at writing one.

I confess that I have made some minor adjustments since first posting this.

The Sower

Haiku of potential

The seed is scattered
on the ploughed earth by the man,
hoping and praying.

It’s all about soil
and where the seed comes to rest;
where it sends down roots.

Some fall on the path;
the birds know that they’re in luck,
swiftly make their claim.

On the rocky soil
shoots come soon, then fall away;
lack sufficient roots.

The weeds claim their share,
choking tender shoots of green;
lacking commitment.

Seemingly against
the odds, some seed comes to rest
in good soil. Hooray!

Like in the kingdom
the gospel seeds find a place
where love can grow strong.

Take the seed deeply
in your heart, listen to it,
bear abundant fruit.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Grace to you, and peace

Haiku of thanksgiving

Grace to you, and peace,
from God, our divine Parent,
and from Jesus Christ.

The apostle writes
out of love, to share the pain
We are one in Christ.

May God who consoles
when we have been afflicted,
also console you.

We suffer with Christ
that you might know salvation;
you suffer with us.

We have hope for you.
As you share our suffering,
be consoled with us.

We were crushed, complete,
we thought we would surely die;
God came to our aid.

He rescued us once;
we hope he does so again.
Help us by your prayers.

We are being blessed
through your prayers, and others' too;
many will give thanks.

© Ken Rookes 2020
Posted for the Narrative Lectionary, 6th Sunday after Pentecost

Monday, June 29, 2020

These hidden things

Haiku for children

The invitation
must be accepted, or else
it has no value.

The flute is playing
the children are calling out:
Why won’t you come dance?

Here is the offer
of life filled with love and hope:
RSVP now.

Share fully in life,
both its joys and its sorrows.
There’s no other way!

The children can see
the things that the wise refuse;
the wonders of God.

I see you’re weary,
your burdens consume your life.
Come, receive my rest.

My yoke is easy,
blessed with purpose and with hope;
come and learn from me.

© Ken Rookes 2020


Haiku for considering

Ah, Leviathan,
mythical beast of the sea,
disturbing our dreams.

Will you tie the beast
Leviathan, with a leash
that your girls might play?

Best not take him on,
Leviathan. He’s bigger
than you. God is too.

God, who created
great beasts and monsters; only
God calls them to heel.

Job, who are you to question,
the Almighty’s ways.

You are mighty, God;
mysterious, knowing all;
and I never knew.

Job answered the Lord.
Now I see you; now I know
better than to speak.

Forced to acknowledge,
God finally concedes, Yes
Job, you spoke the truth.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary readings for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost.

It is I, don't fear

It is I, don’t fear Haiku of uncertain faith He had healed them, blessed and fed, instructed them, then he sent them home. He s...