All mine are yours

Haiku of departure

He calls God ‘Father,’
inviting his friends to share
the intimacy.

He keeps his father’s
trust; the men and the women
he took to himself.

Not one of them lost.
He embraces them in love,
giving protection.

Their home is not here
amidst earth’s dust and despair,
but with the Father.

Here, amidst earth’s dust
is the place of struggle, where
love is made concrete.

I made known your word,
they are holy through your truth.
Father, keep them safe.

Here, amidst earth’s dust
they must go on, without me;
making the love real.

The joy is complete
when love, truth, witness and word
are come together.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Abide

Haiku of love

Make my joy complete
by keeping my commandments;
abide in my love.

You will know my joy
when love is allowed to rule.
Grace, forgiveness, love.

You, too, are to love
as Jesus loves each of us.
Love, costly and true.

No love is greater
than that which offers itself
for the sake of friends.

Servants no longer!
When you do what I command,
you become my friends.

I have no secrets
from you. All God has shown me
I make known to you.

Go and bear much fruit.
Enduring fruit, born of love,
as God’s own children.

© Ken Rookes 2021

The vine, the true.

Haiku for bearing fruit

Jesus, the true vine.
In the image of the vine
we see fruitfulness.

The vine-grower God
seeks fruit in its abundance:
living laced with love.

Pruning. Harsh image
of being made fruitful. Pain
that leads to bounty.

Find your life in me;
together we will bear fruit,
fulfil God’s purpose.

By yourself you fail.
Take my words deep within you;
you will bear much fruit.

By bearing love’s fruits
you become my disciples,
and glorify God.

If you don’t show love,
pious words count for nothing:
you’re no disciple.

© Ken Rookes 2021

The shepherd

The Shepherd

Haiku for sheep

Good Shepherd, Jesus,
putting his flock’s needs before
everything else.

He lays down his life
for his sheep, those who he loves;
gives his all for them.

The hired hands retreat
when the wolves come; sad shepherds,
there for the money.

Many pretenders;
enjoying the rewards, but
not really caring.

From the PM down
there are those who claim to care,
but fail to come through.

Vote for me, they say,
we’ll look after you; but still
serve only themselves.

We must be shepherds,
reaching out with costly love,
just like our Master.

One flock, one shepherd.
Followers everywhere
joined by Jesus’ love.

Jesus gives himself
in love; laying his life down,
then he takes it up.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Be at Peace

Haiku of resurrection greeting

Be at peace, he said
when he stood among his friends;
but they were frightened.

They had watched him die;
thought that he must be a ghost.
He spoke to calm them.

Asks, Why do you doubt
of what are you so fearful?
Look, see, it is I!

Joy mixes with doubt:
they see him standing there, but
their minds know better.

Jesus eats some fish.
This is meant to convince them
that he is no ghost.

How to understand?
Speaks of Moses, the Prophets;
says: These things must be

The scriptures, he said,
tell that the Christ must suffer
rising the third day.

Hope for humankind:
God’s way of love, forgiveness.
You are witnesses.

© 2021 Ken Rookes

Locked doors

Haiku of the first day

They were filled with fear.
They had seen their Master killed,
so they locked the doors.

In the evening
Jesus came; even locked doors
could not keep him out.

His appearances,
as one raised from death to life,
are strange, like in dreams.

Why should we expect
things to be straight forward, when
death is upended.

What really happened?
We are left to speculate,
and to imagine.

Thomas can’t believe.
Why should he? These things defy
rationality.

In time, he enters
the collective belief, that
their Lord is risen.

He breathes his Spirit
upon them. My work goes on
Forgiveness must rule.

Evangelist John
writes his book to persuade us:
Life is in Jesus.

© Ken Rookes 2021

The tomb

The tomb

Haiku of surprise

Stories of wonder
seeking to give shape and form
to deep mysteries.

Early on day one,
still dark, the Magdalene came,
to visit his tomb.

The large stone employed
as a door had been removed.
Mary is distressed.

She ran to tell them:
They have taken his body;
we do not know where.

It was as she said;
the tomb was empty, only
the linen remained.

Mary, weeping, stayed
at the tomb. Two angels asked:
Why are you weeping?

My Lord is taken.
I know not where he lies, or
what’s been done to him.

A stranger enquires:
Why do you weep? She asks him:
Tell me where he is.?

The man speaks: Mary!.
Her weeping eyes are opened.
Rabbouni! Teacher!

As per instructions
Mary found his disciples.
I have seen the Lord!

The resurrection
reports begin; a woman
and an empty tomb.

© Ken Rookes 2021

The end

Haiku of the passion.

Can’t risk a riot;
wait till the festival’s past.
Then we can kill him.

Nothing much has changed,
the dirty work still happens
when no one’s watching.

They set up Judas
to betray him. Paid him well,
presumably.

Sharing sacred meal
he spoke of being betrayed..
Surely not I, Lord?

They shared bread and wine.
My body, my blood, for you;
find me deep within.

You will all leave me
when the testing time is here;
even you, Peter.

Sit here while I pray,
he told his friends. But they slept;
the flesh being weak.

Betrayed and taken,
put on trial; the outcome
predetermined.

Taken to Pilate.
Are you the King of the Jews?
Have you no answer?

Let me release him;
he does not deserve death. No!
Give us Barabbas!

Much mocking, spitting,
purple cloak with crown of thorns.
Lead him out to die.

They crucified him,
with two bandits, one each side.
There was much mocking.

At noon the darkness.
At three, abandonment’s cry,
and then the last breath.

With linen grave-cloth
he is entombed. A stone rolled
to seal the entrance.

© Ken Rookes 2021

The Greeks

Haiku of fulfilment

They liked debating,
those Greeks, coming with questions
to put to Jesus.

He had a Greek name,
Philip; perhaps that is why
the Greeks approached him.

Things are climaxing;
the hour is coming. Glory
revealed in dying.

The grain falls to earth
to find fulfilment through death.
and is made fruitful.

This is the pattern
for living that is true; death
overcome by life.

My soul is troubled.
It’s not hard to imagine,
what might lie ahead

This is the reason
I have come, not to retreat,
but to embrace death.

The world has been judged;
rulers who wield power, fear,
will be driven out.

When I am lifted
love’s power will be revealed;
they will come to me.

© Ken Rookes 2021