Out into the wilderness.

Haiku for considering

The Spirit led him
out into the wilderness.
Time to think and pray.

Fasting forty days,
the pangs gnaw at the belly,
the mind becomes sharp.

The tempter comes by
to clarify the issues
and offer advice.

If you are the one,
the Son that God is sending,
make bread from these stones.

I could use some food.
There’s so much more to living;
I’ll take the hunger.

Look at the city!
Throw yourself from its towers;
angels will catch you!

It’s there in the book,
if you make demands on God
you’re missing the point.

Power and riches!
Trust me, you can have it all;
simply worship me.

Enough! says Jesus.
Life is real, becomes worthwhile,
when you’re serving God

The tempter decamps,
leaving Jesus by himself
to weigh his options.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017.

Other poems reflecting on the temptations of Jesus can be found here, and here. and here.

His face shone like the sun

Haiku of fear and bewilderment

A small, select group
go hiking up a mountain
to admire the view.

A vision of light.
His face, it burns like the sun,
his clothes dazzle white.

Jesus shines, commands
his friends’ attention; as if
words were not enough.

Jesus greets Moses
and Elijah, consulting
with history

The cloud of bright light
descends and immerses them
into mystery.

The cloud finds its voice:
This is my beloved son;
what he says is true.

The disciples quake,
with bewilderment and fear.
They fall to the ground.

They are left alone.
Jesus comes to them and speaks:
Do not be afraid.

Making their descent,
he instructs them: Tell no-one
’til death is conquered.

© Ken Rookes 2017

Other poems responding to the story of the transfiguration can be found here,  here and  here.

You have heard that it was said (2)

Another haiku sequence

You know it is said
eye for eye and tooth for tooth;
this prolongs the fight!

Jesus says revenge
and payback get you nowhere;
grace is what’s needed.

Turn the other cheek.
It’s not easy, but opens
the doorway to peace.

Do the things you should.
Let that be your starting point;
then the extra mile.

Love builds empathy,
enhances all of living,
goes beyond duty.

If somebody begs
or asks to borrow money,
do not refuse them.

Life is in giving;
withholding diminishes.
Live generously.

They say, ‘love your friends.’
Love your enemies as well,
and pray for them, too.

God’s loving regard
falls upon all, good and bad.
Try to be like God.

Love those who love you.
Big deal! The ratbags do that.
Jesus calls for more.

Be servants of love,
sons and daughters of heaven.
Here is perfection.

© Ken Rookes 2017

The first part of this haiku sequence from Matthew chapter 5 is found here.

And a haiku sequence on salt and light, also from Matthew chapter 5 can be found here.

You have heard that it was said (1)

You have heard that it was said (1)
A haiku sequence,

Going beyond law.
You have heard that it was said;
but I say to you.

You shall not murder;
but anger with a brother
also is a sin.

Insult a sister
or call a brother “you fool,”
this will bring judgement.

Don’t attend worship
if you have caused an offence;
first be reconciled.

If you are accused
don’t wait ’til it gets to court,
sort it out before.

No adultery,
but even looking with lust
damages the heart.

If your hand or eye
leads you astray, discard it.
Live with truth and grace.

Do not swear falsely;
better still, don’t swear at all.
Stick with ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

He rewrote the law,
calling forth our better selves;
for the sake of love.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017