Monday, April 30, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
and Judge Todd B. Galloway, Copyright © 1909
to the place where Louie dwells,
to the dear old Temple Bar we love so well . . .
Sing the Whiffenpoofs assembled
with their glasses raised on high
and the magic of their singing casts it's spell . . .
of the songs we love so well
"Shall I Wasting" and "Mavourneen" and the rest.
We will serenade our Louie
while life and voice shall last,
then we'll pass and be forgotten with the rest . . .
who have lost our way,
Baa Baa Baa,
We're little black sheep
who have gone astray
Baa Baa Baa.
Lord, have mercy on such as we,
Baa Baa Baa.
Taught by our culture to want everything, Comfort of the righteous, we confess that emptiness that sends us searching for still more. Our constant desire for greener pastures fills us with every lust and envy. Our belief that still waters are stagnant sends us thirsting for whitewater thrills and adventures. Our trust in the promises of the world turns us away from the shelter you offer.
Forgive us, Source of goodness and mercy. Call us back from our wayward lives, that we might find rest in your heart, healing from your hands, and unity in life together as disciples of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Silence is kept
Assurance of Pardon
Hear God's voice: I will walk with you in every moment; I fill you with my grace and hope; I know you and love you.
Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.
(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Gospel writer John
loved a good agricultural metaphor;
(were there many other kinds
in a pre-industrial age?)
Jesus, lover of people,
welcomer of ratbags
and friend of troubled souls;
likens himself to a shepherd
who cares only for the welfare of his sheep.
Animal rights proponents would love him
because he reckons the life of the human shepherd
to be more expendable
than those of his ovine flock.
But we all know that it’s not about sheep.
It is about people,
individuals like you and me,
who, we are assured,
are loved and valued,
watched over and cared for
by the one he calls Father.
Furthermore, the metaphor implies,
we are all part of something bigger,
joined into one huge flock
of disparate humankind;
each member of which
is also loved and respected,
cared for and wept over
by that same Father;
and expected to do the same
© 2012 Ken Rookes
Thursday, April 19, 2012
The resurrection greeting
on the lips of the risen one,
brings, at best, a disturbing reassurance
to a lost people.
These confused ones thought
that they had known where they were headed.
They had been followers of one
destined for greatness;
accepted wisdom held that they would
share in at least a small corner
of his glorious destiny.
It was not to be;
the master’s great journey
was cruelly cut short,
after having been diverted
down a Jerusalem cul-de-sac..
His followers had been left to find
their own sad way home
to pick up what remained of their lives.
They had not got far.
Fear and bewilderment
had achieved what hope could not
and held them together grieving;
long enough, at least, for the surprise
reappearance of their master
who outrageously suggested
that the journey must continue.
Peace be with you.
An older poem that might be of interest
© Ken Rookes
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
|Whatever it was the disciples thought about all that had gone before, or for that matter about one another, was subsumed in Jesus' opening their hearts and minds and pointing the way forward.|
So if Jesus has to open people’s minds in order that they can understand the scriptures, that would suggest to me that if your mind is closed on certain issues, if it is too made up and settled, then you’re going to have trouble understanding what the scriptures are saying. And further more, and perhaps even more importantly, if you have a genuine encounter with the risen Christ, it will be an experience that opens your mind rather than one that narrows your theology.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is, first and foremost, an incredible mystery. It will always be a mystery. God is a mystery and God’s workings among us are full of mystery. No matter how much we manage to know about it, it will still be a mystery. And at the end of the day, those whose minds are opened by Christ embrace the mystery and entrust themselves to the mystery, and don’t lose too much sleep over trying to reduce the mystery to something they can get their minds around."
Monday, April 16, 2012
We fail to comprehend it, the truth, the question: why
there is no rhyme, no reason, the Messiah-man must die.
We worship with the mighty, the wealthy and great
the proof is in the fortune, the seal is in the fate.
No home is builded for the poor, no place here for the weak,
we venerate the famous, whose countenance we seek.
We beg for their approval, we crave their affirmation,
to tell us that we matter, to give us validation.
The teacher has come near to us, we watched him walking past.
We paused, we listened to his words; we wonder will they last?
The teacher has come near us with love and with his wisdom;
he shows us how to break the rules, we draw back from his freedom.
We are searching for a leader, a commander for the troops,
to take us where we want to go, to walk triumphal routes;
but the road he chose is weakness, it is folly, it is risk;
had we known at the beginning we never would enlist.
He turns the order downside up; he surely is misguided.
He makes the undeserving friends while good folks are derided.
He simply cannot be the one, he’s surely not the Christ
and if he will not go away, he must be sacrificed.
The end was quietly arranged, his death, it was expedient.
The night, it drew the curtain, the tomb it was convenient.
Well-buried was his message, well buried was the trouble;
along with his suggestions that the walls would soon be rubble.
But the stories won’t stay buried, the rumours are insistent,
his followers are foolish, too, they speak of life persistent;
declare his risen presence, and call themselves his witness.
They live with grace and wonder, and love that is life’s litmus
© 2012 Ken Rookes
Monday, April 9, 2012
we hear again the story
of the sceptical dismissal
of the resurrection reports by Thomas
Every year, at least on this day,
we get to celebrate restless enquirers
and affirm their questioning.
Let us hear it for those who trepidly wear
the label of ‘agnostic;’
those honest men and women
who are willing to admit
that they simply don’t know.
They remind us all
of the sad limitations of certainty.
Hurray for all those carefully considered
unbelievers; it was god
(however she is conceived)
who gave them their enquiring minds.
They help keep the good christians on their toes
and bless them with a boundary
to their smugness.
Be grateful for Richard Dawkins
and all the other evangelising atheists;
without them our own literalisers
and fundamentalists would run
rampant and unchecked.
Every year we are prompted to rejoice
in those with reservations;
and all who struggle to believe.
Give thanks to your god for the dear people
whose objections keep us honest,
and who lead us once again
back to the Galilean teacher
to listen to what he really said.
© 2012 Ken Rookes
Thursday, April 5, 2012
The first gospel to be written
is also the shortest. By far.
Especially the ending.
A bit of an embarrassment, really;
certainly for second and third century
scribes and copyists who couldn’t resist
the temptation to improve on the original.
Can’t blame them, though; verse eight
is hardly the place where we would want to leave
the bewildered Marys and Salome;
faithful women who went to anoint
the body of their Lord.
Of course they fled
in fear, terror and amazement;
after hearing the impossible news
from the equally unlikely young man
robed in improbable white?
Keep it to yourselves, ladies;
the time will come when the risen Lord will be seen,
the confusion will end,
and the others will know,
and everyone will celebrate
and shout and dance
and write their own resurrection verses.
Millions of them!
Looking ahead to Sunday!
© Ken Rookes
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
shrill, desperate and frightened,
accumulate in layers
across the courtyard
and force their way in
through windows and open doors.
They bounce along corridors of marble
and echo blurringly from stone tiles
and vaulted ceilings,
to disturb the earnest enquiries
of the Roman administrator
as he presses the prisoner
for an answer he can use.
The man refuses to be constrained by his bonds
and speaks calmly of truth,
too easily it seems to his interrogator,
who demands a definition
for the well worn word..
The man accused of kingly conspiracy
remains silent, knowing that his truth
is difficult to hear.
It is a place where evil and cruelty
meet their limits;
where death is no longer feared,
and where hope,
no matter how low its wick burns,
will never be extinguished.
This disturbing truth will be reached
through a mix of painful love,
generous suffering, and much bleeding;
little wonder his clamouring protagonists
find it so unpalatable.
In the end
the Governor finds it all too difficult
and surrenders the man
to the voices.
© 2012 Ken Rookes
"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. ...