The first

Top commandment,
number one.
Call it the golden rule,
if you like.
Love your neighbour
as you love yourself.
Treat others with respect
and dignity.
Try to feel their pain,
Jesus says.
Your enemies, too;
love them.
Nothing else, really;
the other rules pale,
insignificant by comparison.
Love God,
love your neighbour.
Heart, soul, mind and strength.
No, not easy;
costly, sometimes.
Often. But no,
there is nothing else.
Determined, defiant, deliberate,
love.

© Ken Rookes 2015

The beggar of Jericho

In Jericho’s streets
a loud, annoying man, blind and embarrassing,
glimpses hope for the first time
and shouts excitedly above the noise of the crowd.
The reason for his agitated cries:
one Jesus of Nazareth, aka, Son of David;
who is implored to be merciful
and to use his influence with the Divinity
to heal the man’s vision-less eyes.

He ignores all attempts to silence him
and calls even louder.
The itinerant teacher takes notice,
and invites him to come.
The man has faith, he declares,
and credits this worthy attribute
with the impending recovery of his sight.

He now sees things clearly, for the first time;
not just the physical world
of sunlight, shadows, refractions,
wavelengths and lumens.
His Jerichoean darkness cast aside
as was his cloak minutes earlier,
he chooses to journey on an uncertain route,
but one saturated with light and purpose.
Embracing the travelling man as master, friend and guide,
he follows him glowingly down the road.


©
Ken Rookes 2015

Places of Honour: Haiku

Do us a favour?
The childish plea to ensure
the result you want.

Places of honour;
you don’t ask for much, do you?
They don’t come for free.

Will you take the pain,
and the suffering as well?,
No worries! they say.

The cup that he drinks,
and the baptism, speak death.
Do you dare to drink?

Places of glory.
These brothers still don’t get it.
Only
in serving.

First in the kingdom
will be those who lose their lives,
like their master did.

© Ken Rookes 2015

How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God.

The wealthy,
while offering ‘in principle’ support
for the concept of kingdom of God,
find the idea that God might want to direct
the ways that money is used
or disposed of,
somewhat disturbing.

Riches are from God, they assert;
our prosperity is proof enough
that we are virtuous and good.
The Lord would not have so blessed us
if it were otherwise.

With wealth comes responsibility;
we understand that,
and we take our obligations seriously.
Assistance must be provided
for widows and orphans;
the scriptures are strong on that point.
But the poor, as a category,
includes a range of people:
wastrels, profligates, intemperates and such,
not all of them deserving of our largesse.

When it comes to generosity,
it’s best to err on caution’s side.
A charitable trust, perhaps;
with appropriate tax benefits.

© Ken Rookes 2015