Sunday, May 31, 2020


 Haiku for testing

Wealth and possessions
have long been seen as proof of
a virtuous life.

Surely God blesses
the ones who are deserving!
Yes, but not always.

The poor are not blessed;
their poverty proof enough
of their shortcomings.

The story of Job,
written to challenge. The good
don’t always prosper.

Blameless and upright,
bulk money, stacks of children;
Job had a good life.

God boasts about Job.
Satan calls his bluff. Test him;
let’s see what he does!

In but a moment
it is gone. Taken away,
the blessings withdrawn.

Tears his robe. The lord
gives, and the Lord takes away.
Still Job blesses God.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary for Trinity Sunday 2020

Monday, May 25, 2020


Haiku of the Spirit

Thirsty, dry and parched,
worn out and desiccated,
eager for a drink

At the festival,
interrupting proceedings,
he stood: Come to me!”

If you are thirsty,
come! Life renewing water
will flow deep within!

From the seeker’s heart
shall flow rivers of water,
living, Spirit-filled.

Rivers of water,
gushing strong, splashing with life
and with the Spirit.

The Spirit will come;
open your eyes, you will see
what God is doing.

* * * * *

Can’t be a prophet,
they say he’s from Galilee.
Not prophet country!

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, May 24, 2020

One Body

Haiku for members

Hey there, look at me
I am so clever, gifted;
I have the Spirit!

So, even Christians
get caught up, forgetting love.
It’s all about me!

Seduced by power,
craving honour and glory;
forgetting their Lord.

My gift is better
than your gift is. Look at me!
God thinks I’m clever.

It’s time you grew up.
Boasting is way out of line
for people of God

Your gifts were given
that you might work together;
do great things for God.

Big gifts, lesser gifts,
each one has their part to play;
you need each other.

In the one Spirit
baptised into one body;
Jews, Greeks, slaves and free.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary for Pentecost

Monday, May 18, 2020

Protect, keep them safe.

Haiku for persevering.

This eternal life
is given to all of you;
you who are my friends.

Life that’s full and true;
forget the hereafter, this
is eternal life.

The hour has come near,
we’re coming to the climax;
glorify your Son.

The work is finished,
well, almost. Shadows lengthen,
the darkness threatens.

You gave them to me,
I made your name known to them,
they have kept your word.

What are mine are yours;
when I am with them no more
hold them in your hand.

They remain earth-bound;
here they must live out their faith
with courage and love.

Protect them, Father;
let them be as one, just as
you and I are one.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Where is your sting?

Haiku of hope

Paul, persecutor
of the church, born out of time,
met the risen Christ.

I proclaimed to you
the good news about Jesus
and you received it.

I passed on to you
what I received; that Christ died,
was buried, and rose.

Christ appeared to them;
Peter, the twelve and many.
Finally to me.

He lives, don’t doubt it
and we all shall live, sharing
resurrection life.

Death, where is your sting?
Jesus looked you in the eye:
you’ve been defeated!

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary, 7th Sunday in Easter.

Monday, May 11, 2020

But you will see me

Haiku of abiding

Prove that you love me,
you who are my disciples;
keep my commandments.

What was that command
that he gave to all his friends?
Something about love.

I’ll ask the Father.
He will send the Advocate;
with you for ever.

The Spirit of truth;
you know him, he is with you.
He will be in you.

Soon I will be gone,
the world will cease to see me,
but you will see me.

You, friends, will see me.
Life and love are found in me;
you also will live.

I in my Father,
you in me and I in you;
much shared indwelling.

Prove that you love me
by keeping my commandments.
Love will unite us.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, May 10, 2020

The greatest is love

Essential haiku

Hard to imagine
a world where love is vanquished
and fear goes unchecked.

If I have not love
then I am nothing, worthless
just a fading sound

I may understand
mysteries; if I lack love
I’m less than a breath.

Patient, kind, trusting
the good intent of others;
love is this, and more.

Love delights in truth,
bears all, hopes, does not insist;
and never gives up.

Prophecies will cease,
tongues and knowledge, too, will end.
Love goes on and on.

So much is partial;
when all things are made complete
so, too, will knowledge.

Behave like adults,
put an end to childish ways;
be guided by love.

There remain three things
without compare: faith, hope, love.
The greatest is love.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary, 1 Corinthians 13, for the sixth Sunday in Easter.

Monday, May 4, 2020

In my Father's house

Haiku of the Way

In my Father’s house
there are rooms for all of you;
put your trust in me.

I go on ahead
to prepare a place for you.
You will be with me.

Lord we do not know
where it is you’re going to;
What will be the way?

Friends, I am the way;
truth and life are found in me.
Come, meet my Father.

Show us the Father!
I’ve been with you all this time,
and you still don’t know?

Whoever sees me
sees the Father. My words and
works are from him.

Those who trust in me
will continue what I do,
even greater things!

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Paul the tent-maker

Haiku for a troubled church

Paul the tent-maker,
plying his trade in Corinth,
preaching on weekends.

Working alongside
Aquila and Priscilla,
stitching together.

Love is wearing thin,
the fabric of the church comes
apart at the seams

He writes a letter
to the fractious fellowship
taking them to task.

Asks, Where is the love?
Why is your church divided?
End your quarrelling!

Put factions aside;
one’s not better than others.
You are one in Christ!

The cross is emptied,
the gospel loses power,
when you’re divided.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the bible readings for the Narrative Lectionary, fifth Sunday in Easter.

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; ...