For this reason

Haiku for those who seek

Some Greeks found Philip,
knew he was a follower,
asked to see Jesus.

Jesus met with them,
laid it out straight and simple;
The seed has to die.

To be made fruitful
the grain of wheat is buried
and dies to itself.

The same for us all;
if you want to save your life,
you must give it up.

Become my servant.
You must follow after me
to the hard places

My soul is troubled,
not looking forward to it:
the coming hour.

Should I entreat God
to spare the pain and dying?
No, it’s why I came.

The voice from heaven:
God’s name has been glorified
and will be again.

As he is lifted
Jesus changes ev’rything,
restores creation.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

 

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Those who lose their life.

Haiku for disciples

He taught many things.
Pay attention, disciples,
you have most to learn.

He will suffer much,
the Son of Man; he will die,
killed by the bosses.

They reject his words,
fearing that they pose a threat
to their ordered world.

He spoke of his death,
and of his resurrection.
His friends can’t grasp it.

Hardly surprising.
Peter said, Don’t say these things,
they disconcert us.

Jesus spoke sternly:
Just because you don’t get it,
doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

To follow, he said,
You too must embrace my death;
lose your life for me.

Take up your cross.
Don’t be frightened, or ashamed.
You might just find life.

Hold life too tightly
and you’ll find it disappears.
Learn to let it go.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

Cast your nets with me

Haiku for risk takers

The time is fulfilled
and the kingdom has come near.
Opportunity!

Turn your life around,
put your trust in the good news:
find life, hope and love!

Hear, fisherpeople,
and all who toil and struggle;
your labour bears fruit!

Cast your nets with me,
gather what is true and good.
In the name of love.

The kingdom awaits,
as do all the aching hearts.
Come, travel with me.

Leave your boats and nets.
Bring a heart that is open,
a soul that is true.

Which way will we go,
and where will we sleep at night?
He gives no answer.

He looks upon them,
repeats the invitation:
Come and follow me!

© Ken Rookes 2018.

I saw you

Haiku of surprising discovery

Hey, comrade Philip,
you’re the man I’m looking for:
come and follow me!

Having met Jesus,
Philip went to find his friend:
Come, meet the teacher!

Could he be the one
the prophets told us about;
the one sent from God?

Nazareth, you say?
How could the Messiah come
from that backwater?

Ah, Nathanael,
I’m very pleased to meet you;
such an honest man!

I’ve never met you,
Jesus, and yet you know me?
Very impressive!

I had a vision.
You sat beneath a fig tree
as Philip approached.

Rabbi, I’m seeing
God’s Son, and Israel’s King.
Teacher, you’re the man!

Give me your answer!
Come, join us on the journey;
you’ll find so much more.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018.

Again the Question

Haiku for reading the signs

Apocalyptic
imagery to puzzle
and to disconcert.

In those days, he said,
even the skies will rebel:
the sun, moon and stars.

The end times have come,
not because heaven says so;
the planet is lost.

Look at the fig tree,
or at the barrier reef;
the extreme weather.

We ask the questions:
Where is God in all of this;
what are we to do?

When the master comes
the servants are expected
to have done their jobs.

Keep alert! Wake up!
The hour, the day is coming;
perhaps it is here.

Again the question:
What does he expect of you,
who carry his name?

 

© Ken Rookes 2017.

You must be ready

Haiku for the faithful

You must be ready!
He tells his friends a story,
as is his practice.

Ten bridesmaids with lamps
go out to greet the bridegroom;
a flaming escort.

The neighbourhood girls
invite themselves to the feast
with dancing and song.

The bridegroom is late.
The maids rest their heads and sleep.

The lamps keep burning.

The shout at midnight:
Here he is! Come to meet him!
Bridesmaids trim their lamps.

Five have brought spare oil.
The other five entreat them:
Give us some of yours!

There won’t be enough.
Make haste and rouse the dealers;
buy oil for yourselves.

They return, their lamps
recharged and burning brightly.
The rest have gone in.

The door has been shut.
Lord, lord, let us in! they cry.
Sorry, you’re too late!

Set your sights upon
the kingdom, Jesus told them,
make yourselves ready.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Scribes and Pharisees

Haiku for servants

Scribes and Pharisees:
religious establishment,
power and bluster.

Religious heavies
still imagine that they rule,
brandishing their keys.

Creating burdens
is the thing they excel at;
they will weigh you down.

Telling the people
that they are not good enough
to make it with God.

Look how good we are!
Try your best to be like us;
we’re exemplary.

Measure our fringes,
see our wide phylacteries;
don’t we look the part!

Do not play their game.
Be humble, self-effacing,
a servant of all.

You are my students.
Don’t call yourself a teacher;
you have one teacher.

They still know better
than the rest of us; they still
tell us how to live.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017