Monday, November 26, 2018

Stand, be courageous.

Haiku of warning and encouragement

Signs all around us
in the sun, moon and the stars.
and here upon earth

The planet will shake
seeking freedom from bondage
to power and fear.

They will call lies truth
and truth lies; brazen, barefaced.
Fear will rule the day.

The Son of Man comes.
When you see these things happen
stand, be courageous.

Leaves on the fig tree
tell us that summer is near;
so, too, the kingdom.

Live well, be ready.
Free your hearts from earthly cares.
Do not be caught out.

Troubles are coming
on you and ev’ryone else;
pray you have the strength.

© Ken Rookes 2018

Monday, November 19, 2018

So you are a king?

Haiku for a trial

The procurator
knew what the job demanded;
kept the lid on things.

Pontius Pilate
found the case most perplexing;
called him in again.

Let’s not mess around:
Are you the king of the Jews?
How will he reply?

Jesus answered him.
What do they say about me,
what makes you ask this?

Hey, I’m not a Jew!
Your own people turned on you;
what is it you’ve done?

It’s not from this world,
my kingdom. No, otherwise
we would be fighting.

My kingdom is found
in another realm, where peace,
love and justice rule.

So you are a king?
Pilate keeps on questioning,
cannot understand.

All earthly kingdoms
self-destruct, bring only pain
and futility.

This worldly kingdom,
wherein we dwell, is rooted
in greed, wealth and fear.

For this I have come,
to speak truth. Listen to me;
let me be your king.

© Ken Rookes 2018

Monday, November 12, 2018

Birh Pangs

Haiku for a new order

Leaving the temple
the disciples were impressed;
like country cousins.

How big the stones are,
and look at the large buildings!
Nothing like back home!

Don’t be overawed!
These buildings, too are passing;
all will be thrown down.

The old religion
has failed. It will pass away.
Just like the temple.

When will these things be,
what will be the sign? they asked
when they were alone.

Don’t be led astray.
Mind my words, don’t trust any
who say, “I am he!”

You will hear of wars,
and strife among the nations;
do not be alarmed.

There will be famines
and natural disasters;
keep trusting in me.

These are the birth pangs
of God’s kingdom ruled by love;
it will surely come.

Old religion still
holds so many in its sway.
Let’s open our eyes!

© Ken Rookes 2018

Monday, November 5, 2018

Widow's mite cartoon

The temple deserving of destruction

"... The woman’s devotion is undoubted. But we have taught her, in part, to increase her poverty in the name of God. “They kill the widow and the stranger...” (Ps 94:6) Families are destroyed by husbands at too many meetings and working bees, or wives working too long in the church office. Except it is not the husband or the wife, it is the church. Young women are destroyed by the structures; it has been happening all my life and I am only finally seeing.
.... In this picture of a more fundamental corruption, those “inadequate people seeking power” (Loader) are often tolerated, and even encouraged,  by other inadequate people seeking an inadequate God. Great is their rage and destructiveness when they see they have idolised God and gotten only a poor minister.
And in the middle of it all those who are true become the “collateral damage” of the church; the ones we deny we have destroyed.
I once saw a man stand firm under fire and give everything he had. What an appalling thing if the widow was doing this, too, with her two coins, and it turned out we had built a temple which turned her love into a lie!
It would deserve its destruction."
Andrew Prior (from

Ruth at the feet of Boaz

Marc Chagall

Scribes and widows

Haiku for living

Beware of the scribes
walking around in long robes,
drawing attention.

They like the best seats,
expect people’s deference,
enjoy the honour.

Taking advantage
of widows, hiding their deeds
with their lengthy prayers.

Learned hypocrites,
naked perfidy revealed,
they will be condemned.

Speaking of widows,
Jesus observed one of them
giving her two coins.

When you are wealthy
you can afford to give much,
but when you are poor . . .

Two small copper coins.
Not much, but everything
she had, said Jesus.

To be generous
is to reflect God’s nature.
Live generously.

© Ken Rookes 2018

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; ...