Haiku for founding a church

We went there last year:
Thessaloniki, sun-drenched,
oozing history.

Coming among them,
the Apostle convinced some,
offended others.

They couldn’t find Paul
or Silas; they grabbed Jason,
dragging him to court.

Much consternation.
Seditious accusations!
They get out on bail.

Somehow the word stuck;
planted in turmoil, the church
produces much fruit.

Paul writes them letters,
commending their love and faith;
they are examples.

Their love and welcome
prove that they have truly heard
Jesus words’ of life.

The deeds are noted,
their faith is celebrated
throughout the region.

People are watching;
by our fruits, we too, are known.
Better get it right.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary Readings for the fourth Sunday in Easter.

Behind the Wire: They cannot take the sky

deliberations 2

The PDF file above is a series of three small group studies for churches. It coincides with the exhibition Behind the Wire: They cannot take the sky at Latrobe Gallery, View St Bendigo, between 17th February and the 28th March 2020.

Working with Bendigo Rural Australians for Refugees, I am making these studies freely available. Click on Deliberations 2 above.

Feedback always welcome!

Before it’s too late

Timid, soft and fluffy
waving hands above anxious heads
Is this enough to get us into heaven?

My question,
impolite and unwelcomed:
What has this to do with faith?

The buzz, the feelgood;
it’s reassuring. God,
keep telling us that we’re okay.

Pray harder, louder, implore the almighty;
don’t do anything until the answer comes.

Don’t do anything,
it’s safer that way.
No mistakes.

If there is a God
she must be screaming.
Before it’s too late!

What was it he said?
Something about love, neighbours?
Before it’s too late.

Don’t count on his return
to bring healing to the planet.
It doesn’t work that way.


© Ken Rookes 2019

They called out to God

Haiku for those in bondage

Time’s dust overlays
memory; generations
cause the past to lie.

Joseph is forgot
and those who once were welcomed
are made enemies.

Arriving as guests,
they multiplied, became feared,
ended up as slaves.

Crying out to God
to end their cruel suffering;
Lord, deliver us!

Fugitive Moses,
tending sheep in Midian
sees a burning bush.

As the twigs crackle
Moses hears a voice calling,
takes off his sandals.

Most disturbingly
the voice purports to be God:
I am sending you!

I hear my people,
I know their pain. You must go,
bring them from Egypt.

Demurring, Moses
protests his limitations.
This is beyond me!

Say to my people
I am has sent me to you;
My name for all time.


© Ken Rookes 2019

A series of haiku responding to the Narrative Lectionary for 29th Sept.

An abundant harvest

Haiku for a capitalist world

Jesus, we are told,
refused to act as a judge
between two brothers.

He told a story
to warn against greed and wealth.
Take care! he told them.

The love of money,
a later follower wrote,
gives rise to evil.

Ignoring others
when your needs are paramount
leaves no place for love.

Building bigger barns
in which to store one’s riches.
Keep them for yourself.

Wealth and more money,
cannot satisfy the rich;
there’s never enough.

How empty the hearts
of the wealthy; emptiness
that is never filled.

Best give it away,
create some empty spaces
for God to dwell in.

© Ken Rookes 2019