Blessed are you who live
according to the yearnings of your souls,
not the evidence of your eyes.
Blessed are they who plant vineyards in their old age.
Blessed are those who are the masters of comfort,
and not its slaves.
Blessed are you who give and who will not stop.
Blessed is the one who leaves no scars upon the earth.
Blessed are they who carry their Lord’s scars
within their hearts.
Blessed is the one who listens for the Spirit’s deep sighs,
and trembles within.
Blessed are you who sing your comrades’ songs.
Blessed are they who sigh before beauty.
Blessed are you who allow yourself
to be broken by love.
Blessed are those who roar with anger,
who confront the unjust,
and those who wait with aching.
Blessed are the lonely, and those who befriend them.
Blessed is the one whose words encourage.
Blessed are you who will awaken from your sleep,
and you who will not.
Blessed are the children of Truth,
sons and daughters of Light.
Blessed are the shameless ones, unafraid to die.
Blessed are they, who, for joy,
dance among the stars.
Blessed are the defiant ones,
following the less-trod path.
Blessed are those who choose laughter over politeness
and peace ahead of fear.
Blessed are you who tell the great story
and dream righteous dreams.
Blessed is the pilgrim; travelling in hope
and coming near the kingdom.

© Ken Rookes
This poem is also found in my book, Promptings and Provocations.
199 poems plus relief prints, $20 + $4 p&p, Australia.


(Matthew 4:12-13)

Jesus made his home in Capernaum.
His mother stayed in Nazareth,
along with his sisters and brothers.
They talked in low murmurs
about their eccentric older brother;
the girls were married,
most of the boys too,
with children of their own.
Family gatherings had been good
times of fun and celebration;
with Jesus, everybody’s favourite uncle.
At thirty he should have taken a wife;
should be thinking about his own children.
Perhaps that was his intention,
but why Capernaum, and not Nazareth?
Surprised, bewildered,
and somewhat hurt by his departure,
the family held a crisis meeting
and agreed that a delegation
should go to the seaside town
to persuade him to return home.

“It’s good to see you,”
he whispered as he embraced each one.
“Yes, I will be staying.
Of course I miss you,
but no, I’m not lonely,” he said,
as he introduced his new friends.
They wept, spoke of his mother’s tears,
and pressed him for further explanation.
“The time had come,”
was all he offered.

© Ken Rookes

Here is the Lamb of God

Here is the Lamb of God

Small and vulnerable;
God among us.
Gospel number four
tells us that we deal no longer
with the infant of Bethlehem,
with its sentimental trappings
of wise men, blinking lights and angels.
The long-expected one,
the divine Logos, has come,
according to John,
to be a lamb;
to speak to humankind of sacrifice,
of letting-go,
and of death.
Of love, of grace,
and of blood
that demands a response;
not of vengeance,
but of generosity.
by all earthly standards,
but the way of hope, peace,
and resurrection.
Here is the Lamb of God.

©Ken Rookes 2014

Baptise me, John.

Baptise me, John.
I’m tired, need a change,
something to happen,
don’t know what.
Immerse me;
let the Jordan splash over me
and let it wash me deep.
Let the icy plunge
surprise me wakingly and cause me to gasp
as it removes the weary dust
of failure, fear and disappointment.
The water that splashes over my head;
let it clear my mind of narrowness
and open my eyes to the broadest spectrum
of things new and holy.
Drench me, John, that I may be ready
for the soaking of the Divine One
who is surely present in the water
and all around.
Let me be covered
and let me be naked.
Baptise me, John;
mingle my tears with your disturbing water
and turn me around
that I might find the new path,
and the way, beginning here,
among Jordan’s rocks and wetness.

© Ken Rookes

A second poem for Sunday can be found here

The Plunge

Jesus, source of living water,
when you went to the Jordan that day
to hear the Baptiser’s cry,
what did you come to see?
Did you go seeking advice
about the lonely life of the prophet?
Were you expecting to be moved
by his message? When you answered
his call to repent and joined him in the waters,
what were you thinking?
How did you decide that his strident
call to sinners needed the tempering
of love’s gracious invitation?
Tell me, Jesus, was there already
an inner growing gnawing realisation
that your carpenter’s skill
with timber, joints and nails
was about to give way to a new vocation
of stories, speakings, sharings
and sacrifice?
Or was it only when the Baptiser
took you into the cool water,
and you emerged, saturated,
and kissed by the Spirit-dove,
that you had any idea
of what the voice might be trying to say,
or of what a beloved son
might be expected to do?

© Ken Rookes
A second poem for Sunday can be found here.