Love your enemies

Impossible haiku

Love your enemies:
surely the most laughable
of all his commands.

Easily dismissed
when fear is cultivated
to harvest power.

The title, ‘Christian,’
becomes robbed of its meaning
by those who must hate.

Bless those who curse you,
pray for those who abuse you.
More futile commands.

Even bad people
love those who return their love;
be better than that.

Would you follow him;
this man who insists on love
ahead of all else?

Real love is one-way,
not a bargain or a deal,
expects no return.

Generous, like God,
love is extended to all;
you don’t pick and choose.

Don’t be judgmental,
don’t condemn those who fall short,
practice forgiveness.

When it comes to love,
aim high, and don’t be afraid
to fail, says Jesus.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

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Blessings, surprising and unexpected

Blessings, surprising and unexpected

Haiku for a revolution

The place was level,
a good site for straight talking.
Useful metaphor.

They sensed his power
to bring freedom and healing,
not to mention hope.

He pronounced blessings
surprising, unexpected,
to those without hope.

The poor are promised
entry into God’s kingdom :
what more could they ask?

Those who are hungry
will be filled, the ones who weep
will have cause to laugh.

Are all these blessings
to be made real in this life?
And why shouldn’t they??

Along with blessings,
a series of woes are dealt
to those who have, now.

More flammable words
of gospel revolution
to upend the world.

Words to discomfort
the rich and the powerful,
but they don’t listen.

Here too, a blessing
for those who would follow him:
you will be reviled.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

They came to listen

Haiku for net leavers

They came to listen,
to hear what he had to say;
the Nazareth man.

Some said that he spoke
direct words from the Father.
They pressed in on him.

Two boats at the shore.
He employs one to teach from;
a floating platform.

The lesson concludes.
Take the boat out, he tells them,
and let down your nets.

The fish aren’t biting.
what would be the point? they say.
Yet, if you insist.

The nets are soon filled,
nearly breaking with the strain.
The other boat comes.

Simon, James and John,
fishing partners, are amazed;
can’t believe their eyes!

Boat owner Simon,
falls before him, cries: Depart!
I am not worthy!

Stick with me, he said
we’ll catch people, netting them
into God’s kingdom!

When they reached the shore
the fishermen left their nets
and followed Jesus.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

Won’t be who you want

Haiku for causing offence.

They spoke well of him.
impressed by the things he said,
gracious, filled with hope.

Local boy makes good!
We remember Joseph’s son;
yes, he’s one of us!

He can’t let it rest.
I’m not who you think I am,
won’t be who you want.

There are no home town
prophets. Their honour is found
in other places.

Elijah went not
to help Israel’s widows,
but one in Sidon.

Prophet Elisha
cleansed the Syrian leper;
none from Israel.

I’m no longer yours.
Other folk will find more faith,
receive the blessings.

In the synagogue
the people rise up with rage
at the things he said.

They would have killed him,
thrown him down from the cliff top,
but they changed their minds.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

Home town Nazareth

Haiku for returning.

Across Galilee
Jesus spoke of God’s good news;
the people listened.

They liked what he said,
and praised him for his message;
his words gave them hope.

Home town Nazareth:
he went to the synagogue
and stood up to read.

They gave him the scroll.
Prophet Isaiah. He found
the words, read them out.

The Spirit of God
rests on me, I bring good news
to those who are poor.

I proclaim release,
the recovery of sight,
freedom and blessings.

And then he sat down.
Today, he said, this scripture
is being fulfilled.

Today? Yes today!
You who hear these words this day,
lift your hearts, rejoice!

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

Cana

Haiku of celebration

Coming together,
two people joining in love;
great celebration.

Gospel writer John
builds wonder right from the start:
spins his wedding yarn.

They were all present:
Jesus, his Mum, disciples;
for the wedding feast.

The Cana couple,
all bouquets and bridal waltz!
Then the wine gives out.

Mother Mary comes
with her high expectations.
My son, do something!

Son, Jesus, resists.
Why bring your request to me?
It isn’t my hour.

She tells the servants,
Do whatever he tells you.
Water jars are filled.

They draw some water,
take it to the chief steward.
What a splendid drop!

The good wine comes first,
the lesser when folk are drunk;
you’ve held back the best!

A kingdom image;
the inferior gives way
to the surpassing!

 

© Ken Rookes 2019