Christendom’s temple began
its inevitable disintegration
some decades ago.
We didn’t see it coming.
It had become weakened, its foundations
eroded by respectability and status.
The collapse continues, and gains intensity
as priests are disgraced,
bishops run for cover,
and Rome’s response is to secure itself
behind barricades of denial.
Ah, but we are Protestant;
we are not to blame.
No, but the scandal of our brethren
is a reminder of our own shortcomings and lies;
along with our deluded half-baked attempts
to create protestant versions
of the Christendom dream.
Let it go.
Refuse to weep or mourn.
It does not matter.
We built a grand edifice and pretended
that some divine uncritical blessing
rested upon it. It colluded with us,
spending so many of its years
draping itself in self-importance;
and never really understanding
that discipleship is a humble thing,
with much giving and serving
Eschew the role of custodian;
do not become a curator
of ancient and best-forgotten relics.
Let the stones be thrown down
and the walls crumble!
They will not be missed.
Spray what remains with rude slogans..
Claim your true identity as a disciple,
a follower of one who died
in order that the whole of creation
might become reborn.
Embrace the birth-pangs;
anticipate with hope the new thing
that is surely coming
to sweep away the remnants of the old.
Let the sacred memories of Christendom
be relegated to the history books
and let them serve as a warning.
© Ken Rookes 2012
We have a collective problem
with our hearing, our seeing, too.
There are sounds that we struggle to hear,
sights that our eyes refuse to see.
There are certain frequencies,
cries, groans and wailings,
that auditory senses fail to discern
above our chosen and familiar din.
There are vistas pleasant and reassuring,
scenes of blue skies and gum trees;
with these we make pretty our walls,
that cruel and confronting landscapes
in territories beyond our own,
either do not exist
or are none of our concern.
Hear no evil, see no evil;
not my problem.
The denials of sensory perception
are employed to foster
an untroubled existence.
Thus we avert the need
to speak, to act, to confront,
and our voices become forfeit.
In the blurry stories of human origins,
a mythical man
demonstrates the timelessness
of speech impediments.
In feigned innocence, he enquires:
Am I my brother’s keeper?
Jesus, we are told, came
to open the eyes of the blind,
to unstop the ears of the deaf,
and to release the tongues
of those who will not speak.
Pick me, Jesus;
© Ken Rookes 2012