Emmaus

Haiku for an uncertain journey

For a few hours
Emmaus was the centre
of the universe.

Might as well go home,
the two said to eachother.
They had no idea.

An empty journey
devoid of joy, without hope.
Unanswered questions.

Friday’s agonies,
Saturday’s devastations;
now Sunday’s stories.

How shall we believe,
what is left for us to hope,
when will we be healed?

The stranger asks them,
What are you talking about;
what troubles your hearts?

He speaks patiently,
arranging jig-saw pieces
to make the picture.

The falling darkness
leads to an invitation;
he is urged to stay.

The stranger takes bread,
breaks, and passes it around.
Their eyes are opened.

© Ken Rookes 2017

Another poem for this Sunday can be found here and here.

It was on the Sabbath Day

Haiku for those who would see.

Jesus was working;
it was on the Sabbath Day
that he healed the man.

The Pharisees freaked,
the thing was most improper;
called an inquiry.

What have you to say?
He can’t heal and break the law;
must be a sinner.

A sinner, you say?
He opened my eyes. I choose
to call him Prophet.

Yes, this is our son.
Yes, he was born without sight,
and yes, now he sees.

How did it happen?
Why are you questioning us?
Ask him, he will know!

They inquire once more:
His power must be from God,
says the seeing man.

The crowd was aroused,
the leaders were embarrassed.
So they threw him out.

Jesus found the man.
Now that you can see, he says,
keep your eyes open.

Some with eyes to see
choose the darkness over light;
they make themselves blind.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Hiding in the night

Haiku for the timid but curious.

Hiding in the night,
Nicodemus comes, seeking
answers from Jesus.

We have been impressed
by the things you’ve said and done;
God must be with you.

Truly I tell you,
if you would see the kingdom
you must be born anew.

Many years have passed
since I emerged from the womb;
can I repeat this?

Flesh gives birth to flesh.
You are spirit; from Spirit
your true life will come.

The Spirit-wind blows,
moving swift with mystery.
Be born of Spirit

You speak of wonders,
teacher. I don’t understand;
how can these things be?

Listen to my words
and receive them, they are life.
Lift your eyes, and see.

 

© Ken Rookes

When Jesus calls.

Haiku for taking a chance

With John arrested
Jesus withdraws, goes back home;
north, to Galilee.

He leaves Nazareth
and moves to Capernaum.
There he makes his home.

What the prophet said
is about to be fulfilled;
great light has dawned.

Commencing his work,
he begins to preach. “Repent,
the kingdom comes near.”

Walking by the sea
he sees Andrew and Simon
casting out their nets.

He calls the brothers,
“Come and follow, learn from me;
we’ll fish for people.”

Best offer all day!
The fishers laugh, choose the risk,
leave behind their nets.

Further down the shore
He comes across more brothers,
sons of Zebedee.

In their father’s boat,
Sons of Thunder, James and John,
also get the call.

In a flash, the pair
stop, weigh their options, and leave
dad to mend the nets.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Now that day was a Sabbath

A haiku sequence

In Jerusalem
by the Sheep Gate; see, a pool
with five porticoes.

Beth-Zatha by name.
There the invalids gather,
waiting for a sign.

When the angel stirs
the water, the race begins;
to claim the healing.

This man cannot walk;
he will never enter first.
He lies there, hoping.

It was a Sabbath
when Jesus came to that place;
breaking all the rules.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

The beggar of Jericho

In Jericho’s streets
a loud, annoying man, blind and embarrassing,
glimpses hope for the first time
and shouts excitedly above the noise of the crowd.
The reason for his agitated cries:
one Jesus of Nazareth, aka, Son of David;
who is implored to be merciful
and to use his influence with the Divinity
to heal the man’s vision-less eyes.

He ignores all attempts to silence him
and calls even louder.
The itinerant teacher takes notice,
and invites him to come.
The man has faith, he declares,
and credits this worthy attribute
with the impending recovery of his sight.

He now sees things clearly, for the first time;
not just the physical world
of sunlight, shadows, refractions,
wavelengths and lumens.
His Jerichoean darkness cast aside
as was his cloak minutes earlier,
he chooses to journey on an uncertain route,
but one saturated with light and purpose.
Embracing the travelling man as master, friend and guide,
he follows him glowingly down the road.


©
Ken Rookes 2015

How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God.

The wealthy,
while offering ‘in principle’ support
for the concept of kingdom of God,
find the idea that God might want to direct
the ways that money is used
or disposed of,
somewhat disturbing.

Riches are from God, they assert;
our prosperity is proof enough
that we are virtuous and good.
The Lord would not have so blessed us
if it were otherwise.

With wealth comes responsibility;
we understand that,
and we take our obligations seriously.
Assistance must be provided
for widows and orphans;
the scriptures are strong on that point.
But the poor, as a category,
includes a range of people:
wastrels, profligates, intemperates and such,
not all of them deserving of our largesse.

When it comes to generosity,
it’s best to err on caution’s side.
A charitable trust, perhaps;
with appropriate tax benefits.

© Ken Rookes 2015