Wednesday, August 29, 2012

From within the human heart

The human heart, vulnerable and doubting,
is the place where everything begins.
It covers itself with light,
it shrouds itself in shadows;
and from seasons bright and seasons dark
produces its fruits.

From fearful seeds
the heart grows thorny brambles
of hate, deceit and greed.
These entwine with other frightened souls,
multiplying their sad despair
to deny life and its possibilities.

From hopeful seeds
the heart grows trees of compassion,
love and peace. With delight and celebration,
they urge other hearts to set aside their fears
to dance exultantly, to live defiantly;
to let go.

Fear and hope;
the human heart, fragile and uncertain,
is the place where everything begins.

© Ken Rookes

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

Arise, my love,
my fair one, and come away.
The wattle has dressed in yellow merriment,
the sundew proffers its delicate whiteness;
and the leopard orchid, tiny, but persistent,
emerges to glorify its maker.

Arise, my love,
my fair one, and come away.
Ride upon the song of the wattle bird
as it rejoices in the sun’s gleaming victory
over morning’s fog,
and in the promise of warmth.

Arise my love,
my fair one, and come away.
Unshackle earth’s anchors
to sing, to dance, to delight, to play;
to lose yourself in the great mystery.
Join with birds and kings,
old women, children, and all whose hearts
have been warmed from above;
join in the defiant trek to freedom,
the soaring flight of beauty,
love’s aching splendour,
and the unexpectedness of joy.

Arise, my love,
Arise, my love,
Arise, my love,
my fair one, and come away.

© Ken Rookes

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Comfortable religion

will you also go away

do you also wish to go away?

A reflection of some great depth, worth reading the lot.
"At the center of Christian worship is, and always has been, a meal – the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, the times coalesce: at the moment of communion, salvation history and future hope meet in the holy now. Those who take this meal, who eat this flesh and drink this blood, take in a meal at once like and unlike the meals of their ancestors. It is bread, it is wine, yet it is somehow so much more, for as Christ himself says, it is also eternal life. At the center of Christian worship is this meal, and this meal is the future hope of eternal life.
Yet at the center of common human experience is not now, nor has it ever been, anything remotely like eternal life. For much of the world, human life is short and brutish, ugly and bleak. In a worldwide family fractured over religious, political, economic, and racial lines, humankind’s ecumenism is rooted in our shared experience of death, of suffering, of pain. These are our common heritage, our familiar burden.
And this presents a problem for any who would eat and drink – and truly believe in – this holy meal. For in this meal, a dissonance of what is hoped for is juxtaposed most discordantly with what is. At that moment of unbearable juxtaposition, a question is leveled by our gospel reading: “Do you also wish to go away?” Perhaps – for this teaching is difficult; who can accept it? When the question is asked, the temptation to answer with a heartbroken “Yes,” can at times be quite great. ..."

measuring the cost

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast. 

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.
When you love you should not say,
"God is in my heart," but rather,
"I am in the heart of God."  

-Kahlil Gibran   1883-1931
from The Prophet

Monday, August 20, 2012

But among you are some who do not believe

He was being kind.
Even among those who so eagerly sing
his songs, wear
his shining silver jewellery, don
his tee-shirts, and who grumble
self-righteously that the fabric of society
has been irreparably torn;
there are many of us
who will not allow ourselves to believe.
We do not eat the body;
the blood we do not drink.
The precisely cubed crumb of bread,
the broken wafer,
the fragment torn from a loaf;
the silver chalice,
the cup of wine,
the tiny glass of grape juice,
hygienically prepared, red and sweet;
these safe things we will consume
in neat and reassuring patterns.
We fear the bread that is his words,
irregular, wild and costly;
having nibbled at the edge
we shall leave it our plates.
The cup of his outpouring;
we sipped cautiously, tasted its bitter draught
and determinedly placed it to one side.
His difficult words invite us to dine upon him,
to take life deep within our own;
and allow his being to be woven into ours.
Thus we receive his generous life,
crimson with sorrow, love and weeping.
Take courage; eat and drink, he whispers
once more.

© Ken Rookes 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

El Greco the last supper

I love the earthy, grounded nature of El Greco's works.

So it is we eat

So Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you,
 unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man
 and drink his blood, you have no life in you. John 6:53 

So it is we eat
of the body bread
and sip on grape-juice blood;
gathered old and young around the table,
praying earnestly
and trusting in gracious promises
that the life of our Lord might be found in us.

So it is I eat
longing to be filled;
knowing here is strength
for an uncomfortable journey
and the Cervantes-impossible quest
that awaits those foolish enough to believe
that the darkness has been overcome
and red life abounds sufficient for all.

So it is I eat
and drink of mysterious life
alone at tables of uncertainty
and in places of doubt,
when questions overwhelm
and all I am left with is the story of a man
bleeding with stretched-out arms
suspended in embrace, whispering in promise
that his life will be found in me.

Monday, August 6, 2012

I am the bread of life

 I am the bread,
the bread of living;
come to me.
I have God’s word for you,
food for your heart.
It is a word of joy and of freedom,
surprising in generosity,
intense and glowing.
It tells of peace in the midst of turbulent times,
defiant love in the midst of fear,
hope, when darkness abounds.
This is the word that will answer your hunger,
and confound  your emptiness.
I am the bread of life;
in me the journey begins and ends
and finds its shape.
In me you will discover yourself;
you will also find true community
and the friendship of God.
Sing, rejoice, dance and weep:
I am the bread:
the bread of living;
come to me.

Rev Ken Rookes

The storm

Haiku of stillness After a long day telling stories, parables, Jesus needs a break. Suggests a boat trip. Let us cross the lake; ...