In the resurrection, therefore.

Nine haiku for us sceptics

The Saducees ask
good questions: What does it mean:
resurrection life?

They already know
there is no life hereafter;
but does the teacher?

In the age to come?
The question is audacious;
It won’t be like that!

God of Abraham,
God of Isaac and Jacob;
life with God goes on.

God of the living
with whom those who have long passed
share resurrection.

There can be no death
for those who find life in God;
they are God’s children.

Jesus spoke of life
washed with eternal purpose.
They will die no more.

The disciple knows
that resurrection living
happens here on earth.

Can a Sadducee
also be a disciple?
Would that be all right?

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

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The bonsai man

Zacchaeus the bonsai man,
growing stunted and gnarled;
his roots bound and starved
of human respect and affection.

Until the gardener looks up
into the twisted branches
of another tree, sees him,
calls him friend,

uproots him from the cruel pot
of judgement and derision
and offers him a plot
in the field of God’s kingdom.

There he can grow as God intends;
with space to send roots deep
into love, to stretch out his limbs,
and to be made fruitful.

© Ken Rookes

This is a golden oldie. My new poem can be found here.

Here in Jericho

Haiku of generosity

Here in Jericho,
where the famed battle was fought,
other contests rage.

The tax-collector
climbs a sycamore’s branches
for a better view.

The teacher invites
himself to the sinner’s house;
he should know better.

The mean in spirit
call out generosity
shown to the worthless.

To this house: grace, hope,
salvation and life. He, too,
is a child of God.

The Son of Man came
to seek out those who struggle,
to befriend the lost.

© Ken Rookes 2016

 

and here’s a golden oldie; it can be found here.

Not like other people

Attending the temple,
two men, one upright and proud,
one without merit.

The Pharisee stands,
eyes raised, confident and proud,
boasting before God.

I’m such a good man,
honest, diligent, faithful,
I fast and I tithe.

Go right ahead, God,
pour out your many blessings;
I am deserving.

The tax collector
stands apart from prying eyes;
head bowed to the ground.

Lowers his sad eyes,
aware of his need for grace;
God, be merciful.

They each return home.
The first untouched. The second
justified by God.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Will he find faith on earth?

The Almighty,
according to this parable,
interpreted by one, Jesus,
who is also called God’s son,
grants justice to those who seek it.
Whatever that means.
We could do with a bit more justice.
For refugees and asylum seekers,
women who are beaten,
children who are abused;
innocent victims
of air attacks,
lax gun laws,
racial bigotry, misogeny, and religious fear;
not to mention capitalism’s excesses,
corrupt politicians
and dishonest jurists.
Like the judge in the parable.

We who seek justice, this story declares,
are encouraged to cry out day and night
to the aforesaid Almighty.
I might quietly suggest
that such crying out,
railing against such a raft of injustices,
loudly, persistently and annoyingly,
might in fact be the inconvenient duty
of all who follow Jesus.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Were not ten made clean?

Haiku of gratitude and surprise.

Ah, my friend, Jesus,
you travel to strange places,
sharing hope and love.

In the borderland
ten lepers cry to Jesus:
Have mercy on us!

Cleansing the lepers,
making real the reign of God,
revealing God’s truth.

Just this foreigner.
The other nine, where are they?
Were not ten made clean?

Foreigners surprise
when they have more faith than us.
How embarrassing.

A Samaritan
is made the hero once more.
Another strange choice.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016