The sun will be darkened

In ancient writings
the sun, moon and stars
combine to herald the coming
of the new age.
The laws of physics are cast aside
as the sun draws its blinds,
the moon withholds its light from the earth,
and the stars are swept into glowing heaps,
having fallen from the sky.

Outrageous metaphors,
emblazoned in the heavens
to signal cosmic events
and to fanfare the advent of the Son of Man;
whatever that means.
Something to do with Jesus,
and what he came to do,
and be. Something to do with
defiant love, reckless compassion,
and a quixotic commitment to justice, peace
and hope.

It could happen.


© Ken Rookes 2014

The righteous

consists not so much
in keeping oneself free from
all manner of sin and impurity,
(although this could be a consequence for some),
but in living in ways that are governed
by divine principles
of generosity and love.

The sort of foolish care
that treats prisoners with dignity,
recognises strangers as fellow pilgrims,
and offers food, clothing and water
to the least among the forgotten.

The kind of reckless defiance
that befriends the embarrassing,
confronts institutional cruelty and fear,
and supports the claims
of the homeless and the refugee.

The improbable commitment to one’s neighbour
that builds community, creates hope
and strives towards justice.

These, the parable tells us,
are the things that determine
who is truly righteous.

© Ken Rookes 2014

Making a Profit

Across the centuries many have hailed
the Parable of the Talents, so called,
as a divine endorsement of commercial enterprise.
The worshippers at mammon’s various temples:
the merchant bankers,
the stock brokers,
the importers, the exporters,
the buyers and traders,
the investors and actuaries;
must all love this yarn.

Central to the tale is buying and selling
and making a profit,
all of which become the means
by which the nerve, ingenuity and commitment
of three servants are tested by their master.
Sits a bit awkwardly, though,
with the “eye of a needle” line delivered elsewhere;
among the teacher’s more usual misgivings
about riches and possessions.

Unique among the yarns
recounted by the master story-teller,
this one assesses fruitfulness
in terms of astuteness and monetary gain;
more commonly it is gauged by acts of love,
forgiveness and peace-making.

Not that there is anything intrinsically wrong
with making a modest profit.
© Ken Rookes 2014

I got a week ahead of myself and posted another poem on this parable last week. You will find it here. It’s an oldie but a goodie.


In the parable of bridesmaids
bringing light to the wedding celebrations,
it is their state of preparedness
that finally determines
who will gain entry to the banquet.
We can work the maths out
on the fingers of two hands.
Five go in; five are knocked back.
For the girls in the story
it was flasks of spare oil
that made the difference,
keeping their lamps burning, shining bright,
and keeping the invitation current.

It appears that gospel invitations
to come to banquets, to follow Jesus,
to attend wedding feasts,
are all invitations to live truly.
Stay awake, be ready.
Prepare yourself,
discipline your body, train your mind;
carry sufficient oil – whatever that might be
for you. Keep your Swiss army knife handy.
When you find the invitation extended,
determine to accept it.
Grasp hold, enter in, live to the fullest
and love in the extreme.

© Ken Rookes 2014


I shall dig deep the hole
in which I hide my heart.
There it shall lie,
secure, safe,
and unscathed.

On the day that the master returns
I shall retrieve my heart
and present it before him,
intact, entire
and untarnished.

© Ken Rookes

Oops, I got a week ahead of myself. This poem is a reflection on the gospel for Sunday 16th November. I’m posting another for this coming Sunday 9th.