Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
The road will not be easy,
said the man. Come with me anyway.
It is the road to life.
The rain beats down
outside my window;
the sky is dark, ominous.
Forecasting the strife and enmity
that follow those who tread truthful paths,
the human one speaks with quiet resolve.
Come with me, says the man to his friends;
embrace the sacrifice, along with its pain,
for the sake of love’s revolution.
There will be troubles;
burdens to be borne purposefully
with hope and occasional joy.
They are cross-shaped;
the meaning of their awkward symmetry
will one day be plain.
For now you must determine
to loosen your grip on your chosen life;
that to which you cling, you shall lose.
The human one addresses his friends again:
Come with me, into the dark, driving rain;
and defy the fear.
© Ken Rookes 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The Way of Repentance
is to be stripped of all love
until you are wholly without love
until you have gone
naked and afraid
into this cold dark place
where all love is taken from you
you will not know
that you are wholly within love.”
(From Lines Scribbled on an Envelope, New York: Ferrar, Straus and Giroux, 1969, p. 49)
Monday, February 20, 2012
Gospel writer Mark
is a man of few details;
he invites us to employ our imaginations.
He gives us a wilderness Jesus,
no longer under pressure
from demands of family or carpenter’s shop.
Perhaps he left the trade behind,
as well as the family,
when he moved to Capernaum.
Time to think; to weigh his options.
I picture him as a frugal man,
of independent means, at least in the short term,
with a modest sum set aside
for the purpose of taking a bride
and embracing family life;
he had certainly reached the age.
Still single at thirtyish, the mid-life crisis
had been nagging away for some time,
and the recent changes in his life
showed that its course was far from fixed.
Since childhood he had felt a persistent
sense of mystery, of a divine something
that seemed not to disturb others
in quite the same way.
He had often asked questions of this spirit,
and sensed it interrogating him;
his head shouting silently
through the sounds of hammer, saw and plane.
The answers were elusive
and the questions persistent.
Now, driven into the wilderness
after the baptism event with John,
the debate increases in tempo
as the shoutings move outside his head
to echo in the desert night,
“What do you want me to do?”
© Ken Rookes 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Stepping from dark shadows
into dazzling sunlight;
So the glowing Jesus
appeared before a select few,
who came, in time, to appreciate
that light emanates from deep within
of the one who shines.
“Listen to him,” speaks one
who is traditionally thought of
as shining from on high.
But his words are difficult;
commanding a lifetime
of exploration and striving to comprehend;
and still the grasping is not complete.
They call us all to glow with him
as his curiously present spirit
cajoles and reshapes
beckoning us to step
from comfortable shadows
into healing light;
to share his outrage
and to become joined with him
in weeping pain,
suffering loveand unfathomable joy.
© Ken Rookes 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
- Evelyn Underhill
Monday, February 6, 2012
1 Corinthians 9:24 - 27
Got to do the training,
got to make an effort;
don’t want to let my comrades down
so I’ll forward put my best foot.
Got to keep on keeping on,
yeah, got to persevere;
to climb over the obstacles
and overcome the fear.
This race it is for everyone,
no heats to qualify in,
no starter’s gun, so join right in;
and soon you will be flying
A race unique in character,
no contest with each other,
the Spirit joins us in a team
to run this race together.
There’s a goal been set before us,
a wreath that’s in the making,
a kingdom shaped by grace and love,
the prize there for the taking.
Justice, peace, these are the goals,
and loving is the process.
Getting all the loving right
will guarantee our success.
We can all be winners, yeah,
there’s no-one has to lose it;
the race itself is prize enough,
so get on board and choose it.
©Ken Rookes 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Isaiah 40: 21-31 A Reflection.
It all begins in mystery;
voices in the darkness,
whispers strained after,
Do you know?
Have you heard?
Can you possibly understand even just a glimmer?
Above the vault of the heavens
and beyond the deep night,
is the point where mystery takes breath
and light begins.
The one whose love is source of all,
looks with tenderness upon everything that has been made,
numbers and names each of earth’s inhabitants
and notes their various locations.
Like grasshoppers they leap about
as they make their way.
Some rise high, use their
wealth and power
to dominate and control
they will be brought to nothing.
Like plants they sprout,
green, proud and strong,
little dreaming that one day a divine breath will come
to blow scorchingly upon them;
they wither, and are reduced to dust.
They will be carried away to nothingness,
along with their memory.
We are left to wonder at mystery,
but she evades our grasp.
Invited to make comparisons,
to identify her equal,
we find none;
we are silent.
A voice speaks to challenge:
Behold: each star in its allotted place,
each one numbered
and recorded, along with its name
in the celestial register;
they are all present, none is missing.
Can there be any mightier
than the one who has appointed them?
You who have become discouraged and fearful,
believing you have been abandoned,
that the one who called you into being is absent
and there is none to hold you to account;
you are mistaken.
You are remembered, you are known.
You were never lost;
even in this place, far from where you want to be,
the tireless mystery knows you, finds you.
Her love for you does not weaken,
His care for you is undiminished.
Those who are about to faint with fear and sorrow
will find strength.
Those who feel that they have no future
will find hope.
Laugh into the darkness,
gesture with defiance towards the night.
The beauty power of youth is a wonderful thing,
it, too will pass.
Even the fittest will grow weary and fail
and the finest athlete will become weak and exhausted.
It is those who know the presence of their maker,
who hold fast to his promises,
who trust in her love;
these will stand.
They will complete the journey that has been set before them,
they will not fall.They will be like eagles.
©Ken Rookes 2012
This is a reflection on Isaiah 40:21-31. It's a bit of a work in progress, but I think it might be helpful in getting into the spirit of the passage.
It's Friday night and I have made some amendments!
"For most of my life, God’s response to Job in this book has frustrated me, even angered me. It all seemed so insufficient a response. ...