Monday, July 23, 2018

No exceptions allowed




           "There is an internal logic to the Christian good news. Since God "created all things in heaven and on earth" (Colossians 1:16), seeks the worship of all "things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth" (Philippians 2:9–11), intends to "reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven" (Colossians 1:20), will sum up or bring together "all things in heaven and on earth" (Ephesians 1:10), then of course God delights in bestowing his fatherly favor on "the whole human family in heaven and on earth" (Ephesians 3:15). The Psalm for this week makes just this point: "The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made" (Psalm 145:9). In fact, the words "all" and "every" occur eighteen times in this Psalm 145, extending God's bounty beyond every human family to the entire created cosmos (cf. Romans 8:19–22, Acts 3:21).
           In his bestseller Velvet Elvis, pastor Rob Bell of Mars Hill church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, reminds us that the Christian gospel is good news about God's fatherly favor to every human being and to all of creation, "especially for those who don't believe it. . . The church must stop thinking about everybody primarily in categories of in or out, saved or not, believer or nonbeliever. Besides the fact that these terms are offensive to those who are the 'un' and 'non,' they work against Jesus's teaching about how we are to treat others. . . As the book of James says, 'God shows no favoritism.' So we don't either" (James 2:1–13). No exceptions allowed.   "
  https://www.journeywithjesus.net/Essays/20090720JJ.shtml    

A message from our new UCA president


The crowd, hungry for his word.


Haiku of unexpected abundance

The crowd came to him;
saw the signs he was doing,
the sick getting healed.

Up on the mountain
the crowd, hungry for his word;
Jesus will feed them.

Where will we buy bread?
Six month’s wages, said Phillip,
Wouldn’t buy enough.

Five loaves and two fish
that was all they could muster:
a boy and his lunch.

They sat on the grass.
He took the loaves and thanked God,
passed the bread around.

As the story goes
they all had enough to eat,
gathered up the scraps.

Understandably
the people got excited:
He is the prophet!

He made himself scarce,
went further up the mountain
to be by himself.

When evening came
his disciples took the boat,
went out on the lake.

The lake became rough
and the wind blew against them;
they were terrified.

And then Jesus came
with words of reassurance,
Do not be afraid.


© Ken Rookes 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018

Promise asnd hope


Haiku for the shepherdless

They came back to him,
eager, full of their stories,
telling what they did.

We all need a break,
let’s find a deserted place,
away from the crowds.

They went in a boat,
trying to get clean away;
didn’t really work.

They watched them leaving
made haste on foot, got there first
to welcome the boat.

They were a great mob,
like sheep without a shepherd.
His heart ached for them.

And so he taught them
many things. Then he fed them;
meeting their hunger.

And then they sailed on,
landed at Gennesaret;
still more people came.

Wherever he went,
from across the whole region,
they came to be healed.

He came among them
with the prospect of freedom,
a promise of hope.

© Ken Rookes 2018

Monday, July 9, 2018

The sad monarch

Haiku of the powerful and the small

Sad monarch Herod
like his father before him,
achieved infamy.

Pathetic ruler
easy to manipulate,
a slave to his lusts.

John the baptiser
never could keep his mouth shut,
incurred royal wrath.

Herod’s vengeful wife,
Herodias, took offence
at his denouncements.

Cast into prison,
John was forced to bide his time.
Herod still feared him.

The stepdaughter danced
at Herod’s party. Sexy;
the men all lusted.

Whatever you want,
the king had said. Then give me
the Baptiser’s head.

The king grieves deeply,
not foreseeing this outcome,
but he has been caught.

A bloody triumph
on a platter. She, in turn,
gives it to mother.

John’s disciples hear,
and come to claim his body;
bury him with love.

© Ken Rookes 2018

Monday, July 2, 2018

Home town boy

Haiku for breaking out

Home town Nazareth,
the place where he went to school,
where they watched him grow.

Being the Sabbath
he entered the synagogue
and began to teach.

They were astounded.
Where did this man get all this;
where’s this wisdom from?

He’s the carpenter,
we know his mum and siblings!
And they took offence.

Prophets find honour
everywhere but at home.
He left with sadness.

So he departed,
on to other villages,
teaching God’s good news.

He sends out the twelve,
gives them his authority
for the task at hand.

You won’t need money,
just take a staff, no extras;
sandals are okay.

Enter their houses,
accept hospitality.
Don’t look for better.

So they went on out
called the people to repent;
doing Jesus’ work.

© Ken Rookes 2018

Birh Pangs

Haiku for a new order Leaving the temple the disciples were impressed; like country cousins. How big the stones are, ...