Like a wedding feast

Haiku for the hopeless.

Like a wedding feast;
the kingdom invitation
is there for us all.

Still one more story;
a parable to confound,
also to offend.

The king sends his slaves:
It’s time, come to the banquet!
Lots of excuses.

A second time: Come,
everything is ready now!
They make light of it.

The affronted king
declares them all unworthy,
decides to move on.

Go out to the streets
and, whoever you find there,
bring them to the feast.

Everyone came
and all were made most welcome,
both the good and bad.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Advertisements

Paying the rent.

Haiku for a new order

Parables abound,
and here’s another vineyard.
This one’s rented out.

Shades of Isaiah.
Fruitlessness still the problem,
but it’s not wild grapes.

This time the tenants
refuse to pay the due rent;
and with violence.

Slaves are beaten, killed.
Not even his son is spared.
What were they thinking?

The owner will come
and deal with these reprobates.
It won’t be pretty.

He will start again.
Other tenants will be found;
they’ll produce the fruit.

The rejected stone
becomes the one that is key;
how unexpected!

Religious leaders:
pay attention! It is you
who must give account.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Doing the Father’s will.

Haiku for those who are called.

They came enquiring:
Who gave you authority
that you do these things?

He does not answer.
Was the Baptist sent from God?
he asks in return.

It is a stand-off.
They refuse to answer him;
he will not tell them.

Instead a story.
A father asks his two sons
to work the vineyard.

The first answers: No.
But later has second thoughts,
works among the vines.

The second says: Yes,
(to keep the old man quiet).
But he never fronts.

Which one, asks Jesus,
did the will of his father?
They reply: the first.

Stop your pretending!
How can you do what God wants
when you won’t listen?

The ratbag sinners,
who you dismiss as worthless,
believed what John said.

You still won’t believe.
These sinners go before you
into God’s kingdom.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

The politics of resentment

Haiku of generosity

A new parable
to illustrate the kingdom,
turning things on end.

Vineyard labourers
hired in groups through the day;
get the harvest in.

Some worked twelve hours,
some laboured for only one.
Pay them what is fair.

The last are paid first.
They get a full day’s wages.
A happy surprise!

The twelve-hour workers
rub hands in expectation;
but get basic wage.

The grumble is great.
Quit whingeing says the vintner;
it’s what we agreed.

If I deal freely
with my money, that’s my choice;
why should you complain?

Others might get more
than they deserve, that’s all right.
Be happy for them.

This story disturbs,
offends our sense of justice.
Best to ignore it.

(We all take offence
when those who don’t deserve it
receive more than us.)

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Seventy-seven times

Haiku for forgetting to keep score.

Peter came and asked:
How often must I forgive
my comrades in faith?

Would seven times do?
Not really, Jesus answered;
add seventy more.

Another story.
A king forgives a huge debt.
Well done, your highness!

The king shows pity,
his debtor is much relieved.
High fives all around!

Relieved and grateful,
the man will show like pity
to others, won’t he?

Quickly forgetting
the forgiveness he received,
he demands payment.

When you have known grace
how can you not live by grace?
Unbelievable!

We forgiven ones
are expected to forgive.
End of the story.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

What is the kingdom like?

Haiku of discovery

Like a mustard seed,
small, seeming of no account;
yet it surprises.

Like yeast mixed for bread,
lost in the flour’s abundance;
transforming presence.

Like treasure hidden
in a field and forgotten;
a most welcome find.

Like a collector
who searches for a lifetime,
chancing on the prize.

When you find your pearl
nothing else really matters;
you must possess it.

So with the kingdom,
this way of being, of life
abundant and true.

When we were children
they told us of these things; now
they have become real.

 

© Ken Rookes 201

Weeds

Haiku for a dilemma

Weeds among the wheat,
useless seeds grow with the grain;
contamination.

Good seed was planted;
where, then, do the weeds come from?
Have to blame someone.

Better pull the weeds
lest their seeds blend with the good;
be responsible.

The master says, No.
You might damage the good plants.
We shall be patient.

Wait for the harvest,
then we’ll properly discern;
sort the good from bad.

The end of the age,
(whatever that means), is time
enough for judgement.

The righteous shall grow,
shine bright, and produce much fruit
in love’s fair kingdom.

Don’t be dissuaded.
Grow strong in the grace of God.
Bear the fruits of love.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017