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.

Struggling to believe

Haiku for faithful doubters

Thomas, called the Twin,
wasn’t there with the others,
struggled to believe.

The resurrection;
life constructed out of death,
the seed bursting forth.

Jesus reaches out,
speaks words of acceptance, life;
inviting us all.

Thank you, friend Thomas,
for your precious gifts to us,
your doubts and struggles.

Jesus shows us faith,
Thomas teaches honest doubt.
We need both of them.

Embrace your questions.
Faith is not opposed by doubt;
no, but by fear.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

He came, touched by God.

Haiku for those who dare to hope

He came, touched by God,
sharing human pain and death;
brushing us with love.

The aching sadness.
He’s gone, along with our hopes.
Can life endure death?

The promise of life,
our hearts strong with excitement,
crashing to the earth.

We weep for ourselves
as we shed our tears for him;
lifeless in the tomb.

Is anything left
from the storehouse of his life?
Was it for nothing?

A few words remain
from his wisdom and stories;
let us remember.

Surely not the end!
Darkness, hatred and fear
must never prevail.

Dawn’s radiant light
confronts insistent darkness;
will it overcome?

We have heard rumours,
we want to believe they’re true,
that somehow he lives.

Go on, look within
for the resurrection glow;
incandescent love.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

As the story goes

Haiku of unexpected life

As the story goes
Lazarus from Bethany
had been dead four days.

When Jesus arrived,
sister Martha did complain:
What kept you so long?

If you had been here!
I am the resurrection
and the life,
he said.

Yes, Lord, I believe
that you are the Messiah;
God’s Son, in the world.

Mary fell weeping
at Jesus’ feet. Lord, she said,
If you had been here!

Had you come sooner
my brother would not have died.
Take me to his tomb.

Jesus also wept.
They removed the entrance stone
to see life triumph.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

In the resurrection, therefore.

Nine haiku for us sceptics

The Saducees ask
good questions: What does it mean:
resurrection life?

They already know
there is no life hereafter;
but does the teacher?

In the age to come?
The question is audacious;
It won’t be like that!

God of Abraham,
God of Isaac and Jacob;
life with God goes on.

God of the living
with whom those who have long passed
share resurrection.

There can be no death
for those who find life in God;
they are God’s children.

Jesus spoke of life
washed with eternal purpose.
They will die no more.

The disciple knows
that resurrection living
happens here on earth.

Can a Sadducee
also be a disciple?
Would that be all right?

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Another resurrection story

Do not seek death, death will find you.
But seek the road that makes death a fulfilment.
Dag Hammarskj
öld

Another resurrection story. In the township of Nain
an only son joins Lazarus, and in time, Jesus himself.
(Let’s be generous, and add the daughter of Jairus;
that makes four members of the resurrection guild.)

Perhaps the widow’s son will outlive her, this time;
(this is the way things should be).
Then she will be spared the bitterness
of rekindled grief.

Another resurrection story,
but they are all really part of the one.
Death’s ultimate conqueror
having come among us.

The ones who followed after him
eventually understood that bodily resurrections
have little use
beyond the postponement of grief.

Death however,
should be received as a divine gift.
Death’s purpose is not found in its reversal
through resurrection,

but in the fulfilment of living.

© Ken Rookes 2016

Do you love me?

The evangelist writes as if for the theatre,
scenes that have been re-enacted
by countless ecclesiastical ensembles for millennia.
In the final act of his disturbing drama
the lead character returns unexpectedly to centre stage
and is brought face to face with a once-trusted friend.
One who famously abandoned him
at a time of desperate need.

We, who also know the bitter taste of failure,
squirm awkwardly with the fisherman
as his master invites him, three times,
to reaffirm his devotion.
The brash confidence of previous boasts
has been supplanted by the shame
of his pre-dawn denials.
Self-assured words no longer come readily
to his lips.

Jesus is gracious, accepting;
he does not chastise.
There is work to be done,
there are journeys to be completed,
there are sheep to be tended;
failures, too, are needed.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016