The cost

Haiku for disciples

Think priorities.
Discipleship must come first,
before family.

This is difficult.
Know what you’re getting into
when you answer ‘yes!’

The cross you carry
is an instrument of pain.
You will feel its weight.

Finish what you start.
Sit down, estimate the cost
before you begin.

I have looked ahead,
can see what’s waiting for me;
know who you follow.

Carefully reckon
the cost of discipleship:
follow anyway.

Don’t let anything
keep you from the kingdom path.
Be a disciple.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

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Fire on Earth

Haiku of urgency

He brought division,
surprised us all; we wanted
polite religion.

His words were crazy,
wild, disturbing our comfort,
not respectable.

Co-opting his words,
we made of them a program
of pious order.

If you want polite,
respectable and ordered,
you’d better leave now.

Your world is dying
and all you sing is pretty.
Don’t give me pretty.

Your world is dying,
open your eyes, can’t you see?
Time to do something.

Don’t give me love songs,
give me love’s revolution;
let me take the pain.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

Being ready

More haiku for disciples

He gives the kingdom,
what more will you ever need?
Nothing else matters!

Give it all away!
Give alms, sell your possessions;
they’re not important.

Make sure you’re ready.
Be alert and be faithful,
live the way God wants.

Let love rule your life,
work for justice and for truth.
Live for the kingdom.

It is not enough
to simply live decently;
make a difference.

Perhaps tomorrow,
we don’t know when it all ends.
Love makes you ready.

The kingdom good news
is concrete hope and justice;
make sure you do it.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

Sent ahead

Haiku for mission

Seventy, there were,
in pairs, sent ahead of him
with a word of peace.

Jesus said to them,
The harvest is plentiful,
we must bring it in.

Be a labourer.
Tell of the kingdom’s good news;
touch them with new life.

You will be like lambs;
vulnerable. It’s all right;
that’s the way it is.

Those who follow me
must deal with hostility.
It is always so.

Travel light; no bag,
no purse. Don’t be distracted
from the work of peace.

Some will welcome you.
Stay with them, be satisfied.
Bring healing, breathe hope.

It is coming near,
God’s kingdom; we’re bringing it.
This is a great work.

Rejoining Jesus
they spoke with joy and wonder
of what they had seen.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

With time running out

Haiku for decisions

With time running out
Jesus knew that he must go
to Jerusalem.

The company came
to a Samaritan town,
but they were rebuffed.

Why Jerusalem?
If you’re only passing through
don’t bother to stay.

We should punish them;
call down fire! said James and John.
Jesus rebuked them.

I will follow you,
a man said. Foxes have holes,
but I am homeless.

I will follow you,
a man said, but I must wait
for father to die.

The dead must bury
their own. Leave them, you must go
proclaim God’s kingdom.

I will follow you,
but first I must say farewell
to my family.

To plough a straight line
you cannot keep looking back;
likewise the kingdom.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

 

Going fishing

Piscatorial Haiku

Seven disciples
decided to go fishing:
found themselves a boat.

They went out at night
hoiping that the fish would come
but they caught nothing.

Standing on the shore
the stranger shouted advice:
Try the other side!

The nets are breaking;
It must be the Lord! they shout.
Peter heads ashore.

A lakeside fire,
a breakfast of bread and fish
with their risen Lord.

Jesus asks Peter:
Simon, do you love me more?
Lord, you know I do.

Simon, feed my lambs.
Twice more Jesus questions him:
How do you love me?

Eventually
even Simon must get it;
love made real by deeds.

He said, Feed my sheep,
take care of my little lambs.
It’s all about love.

 

© Ken Rookes 201

They came to listen

Haiku for net leavers

They came to listen,
to hear what he had to say;
the Nazareth man.

Some said that he spoke
direct words from the Father.
They pressed in on him.

Two boats at the shore.
He employs one to teach from;
a floating platform.

The lesson concludes.
Take the boat out, he tells them,
and let down your nets.

The fish aren’t biting.
what would be the point? they say.
Yet, if you insist.

The nets are soon filled,
nearly breaking with the strain.
The other boat comes.

Simon, James and John,
fishing partners, are amazed;
can’t believe their eyes!

Boat owner Simon,
falls before him, cries: Depart!
I am not worthy!

Stick with me, he said
we’ll catch people, netting them
into God’s kingdom!

When they reached the shore
the fishermen left their nets
and followed Jesus.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019