Elevated

Haiku for those who grope in darkness

In the wilderness
Moses lifted the bronze snake.
The people were healed.

So, too, will Jesus,
the Son of Man sent from God
be elevated.

Of the Father’s love
Jesus is sent, precious gift
bringing us true life.

He came, grace-laden,
embodying forgiveness.
No one is condemned.

There are those who hide,
preferring darkness to light;
judgement awaits them.

Blankets of darkness
drape heavy to hide evil.
Light is cast aside.

It’s all about light,
truth, hope, love; made incarnate.
Light shines, defiant.

Their deeds are in God,
those who seek to serve the truth.
Come, embrace the Light.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018.

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Behaving recklessly

Haiku for the angry

In Jerusalem
people gather for the feast;
things are heating up.

The Passover nears
time to remember; recall
God’s saving actions.

As is his practice,
Jesus behaves recklessly,
upsets good order.

Goes to the temple,
where he observes the commerce
and money changing.

The man gets angry,
makes a whip from cords of rope,
drives the traders out.

Escaping doves soar,
as tables are overturned.
Coins spill to the floor.

Take them out of here;
these instruments of Mammon
do not lead to life.

Temple is a place
for drawing near, listening,
and worshipping God.

They ask him, What right
do you have to come in here
and to do these things?

Destroy this temple
and I’ll raise it in three days.
Another riddle.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018.

Only speak the word and let my servant be healed.

They have an efficacious power
written deep within the interstices of their syllables;
these words of Jesus.
We disciples should repeat them often,
even the difficult ones.
We should speak them confidently
with an attitude of blessing, hope
and encouragement

Be whole!

Be at peace! Forgive!

Love your neighbour!
(And your enemies.)

Live generously!

Do for others
as you would have them do for you!

Walk away from your wealth!
(How did that one sneak in?)

Be free!      Live fully!      Follow!

Sometimes,
laying aside reservations
and overcoming our inhibitions,
we might even voice the words
loudly, in public spaces.
We could spray them rudely on walls,
pass them out with cups of water,
or paint them boldly upon our faces;
shouting with appropriate outrage and defiance,
and causing good people
to gasp.

© Ken Rookes 2016

Silenced

In the fears and uncertainties of first century Jewish politics
an insecure monarch lusts after the niece
who also doubles as his step-daughter.
At a birthday banquet,
the girl entices the gathered dignitaries
with a dance.
Arousing, provocative,
teasing and taunting;
she knows how to shake it.

In the old man’s fantasy foolishness
half a kingdom is offered
as the prize for his pleasant titillation.
A prophet’s head,
severed from its outspoken owner’’s body
and proffered upon a platter,
is the price prescribed
by the girl’s vengeful mother.

A king’s self-importance is never a small thing.
His ego expands even further
in the presence of multiple weighty witnesses;
the offending voice will be silenced.
For good.

It’s been all about power, lust, politics, pride, and retribution.
Between them, over the next two millennia and beyond,
these evils will account for the larger part
of the world’s pain and sorrow.

During that time other offensive voices will be raised
and many will be silenced.
But an outrageous few will recklessly persist
so that the kingdom,
the kingdom grounded in love and truth and sacrifice
will come;
one day,
as promised.

 

© Ken Rookes 2015

Peace, be still!

When the boat is getting swamped
and the wind and the rain
beat against our faces and drive into our eyes;
when the news bulletins are full of fear and pain,
our leaders point their fingers
and no one takes responsibility;
when women are beaten,
children deal (or don’t) with trauma
and men set their brains aside
for the sake of chemical pleasure;
when the poor are undeserving,
the wealthy are withholding
and compassion is declared a luxury
we cannot afford;
when the weak and the vulnerable go unprotected,
their oppressors go unpunished
and we are no longer outraged by injustice;
then, Jesus,
speak again those words
you spoke to your distraught disciples,
to the out-of-control elements,
and to a planet curtained with tears:
Peace, be still!

© Ken Rookes 2015

Hide and seek

We are children.
We play hide and seek,
and cling to the shadowed places;
pretending that no one can see us.
Imagining that we
will not be found.

The light is not our friend.
Send it away,
lest it shine revealingly
upon our hiding places;
our living, our dying,
the things we do.

Seductive darkness, brush our cheeks.
Let our eyes remain closed,
reassured;
that we might continue
our multiple deceptions.
Lest we be found.

The darkness is many;
the cracks
through which the light comes in
are few.
The candle flame flickers;
small, but defiant.

© Ken Rookes 2015