Shepherds and doors

Shepherds and doors

So many doors,
colours, sizes, shapes;
some swing from the left,
others from the right,
some slide.
Inwards opening,
outwards swinging;
so many choices.
Which doors are for me?
Will it be the journey within,
beyond,
or both?

The fourth gospel
designates the Good Shepherd
as the gate, a door through which
his sheep might enter into life.
When I passed through that door,
many years ago,
I was told by some earnest
sisters and brothers
that there were certain doors
to be avoided
for fear of one’s eternal life.
These well-meaning friends
insisted that those who travel
through such doors will be lost.

So many doors,
so many dangers.
I went through one anyway.
Had to;
too many questions,
too many doubts.
And maybe,
just perhaps,
notwithstanding all the warnings,
it was the Shepherd
who was waiting at the other side.

© Ken Rookes 2014

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Be Tempted

How like you, Jesus,
to claim the moral high ground.
You say you choose the better way
over the easier way;
do they have to be mutually exclusive?
Besides, in our opinion,
least resistance is generally under-rated.
If you have the power,
why not use it? Who cares?
They’ll make you king, anyway;
it can be our little secret,
no one else need know.
Our little secret
on the way to world peace;
you could make it happen,
if you wanted to.
What makes your way better?
Can you be sure,
and how do you measure the outcomes?
Compromise and pragmatic solutions
have always been the order of the day;
lofty ideals are all very well
but the economy surely can’t afford them.
It’s a low-percentage plan, Jesus;
won’t convince anybody.
Go on; be tempted.

© Ken Rookes 2014

Choices

Choose love over fear;
the alternative is emptiness.
Choose to be generous;
in giving there is much joy.
Choose to dance,
at least in your heart if your legs refuse.
Choose the way of truth; there will be a price,
but you will have no regrets.
Choose laughter over tears.
Where this is not possible, weep loudly
and unashamed.
Like a flower unfolding in the morning light,
choose life to the fullest.
Choose to compromise if you must;
but know what it is costing
Choose honour ahead of convenience,
sacrifice ahead of comfort.
Choose the cross, it is the way of hope.
Choose to sing and to shout,
to pray and to worship
Choose to take action;
all creation is waiting for you.
Choose wise wrinkles of age ahead of the
smooth-skinned folly of youth.
Life is never the final choice,
love is.

© Ken Rookes

Pinnacles

Jerusalem,
always Jerusalem.
Luke takes us there for the third temptation,
his last of three. (There will be others).
Offered an alternative path, Jesus refuses.
No surprises here.
He is offered a big, spectacular event
to establish his divine credentials for all time.
It would be in Jerusalem,
with the temple, sacred and glorious,
pressed into service as the setting.
The crowd will gasp, not daring to believe
the evidence of their eyes,
when, from the temple’s pinnacle
a suicidal swallow-dive is arrested, mid-descent
by the proverbial flight of angels
and the man is allowed to float gently to the earth
But it will not happen:
the temple, and all that it represents,
is being sidelined, it has no future,
as the hungry man determines
that there will be no short-cuts.
Jerusalem, must be patient
as he turns aside from the sensational,
preferring the more humble way
of gentle and generous love.
The journey is just beginning.
In the end
Jerusalem’s demands will be satisfied.
At the time of fulfilment he will be taken
to another high place, and suspended for all to see;
the angels will not save him.
The choice will prove painful, and full of sorrow,
but we are told that he did not come to regret it.

 © Ken Rookes 2013