Do you really need to ask?

Haiku of essentials.

They were arguing
as do the theologians
of all descriptions.

The greatest command;
do you really need to ask?
You know what it is.

It is always love.
The only thing that matters.
All else is detail.

When they practise love,
the ones who pretend wisdom;
then all is made new.

So many liars,
claiming to be the greatest,
but lacking in love.

The PM, scoffing
at ‘unfunded empathy.’
Does love need funding?

The modern-day scribes
still crave places of honour;
and forget to love.

Generous loving;
never in fashion. Today
it’s all about me.

Even the widows
are more generous with love
than those who are rich.


© Ken Rookes 2020

From the Narrative Lectionary for the fourth Sunday in Lent

Heirarchies of honour

Haiku for the humble

We all observe them,
the heirarchies of honour
that show our status.

Do not be troubled
by lists of significance
and where you fit in.

Simply be yourself,
unconcerned about status.
Honour comes and goes.

Be humble, accept
whatever God allots you,
God will exalt you.

Don’t invite your friends,
your brethren or rich neighbours:
they will pay you back.

Learn to be gen’rous.
Give to those who can’t pay back,
and make them welcome.

Share with the cripple,
the poor, the blind and the lame;
they can’t repay you.

is its own blessing: be blest
as you share your love.

© Ken Rookes 2019

None of these will lose their reward

Haiku for disciples

Welcoming others,
showing hospitality,
it’s what Jesus wants.

When you are welcomed,
Jesus is made welcome too,
and God who sent him.

As you show welcome
to the small and lowly ones
you are rewarded.

As you invite them
to come under your welcome,
so you will be blessed.

Cups of cold water
given to these little ones
won’t go unoticed.

a forgotten eastern art,
much undervalued.

Generosity –
a function of the kingdom.
That, along with love.

© Ken Rookes 2017

Here in Jericho

Haiku of generosity

Here in Jericho,
where the famed battle was fought,
other contests rage.

The tax-collector
climbs a sycamore’s branches
for a better view.

The teacher invites
himself to the sinner’s house;
he should know better.

The mean in spirit
call out generosity
shown to the worthless.

To this house: grace, hope,
salvation and life. He, too,
is a child of God.

The Son of Man came
to seek out those who struggle,
to befriend the lost.

© Ken Rookes 2016


and here’s a golden oldie; it can be found here.

Haiku of humility and hospitality

Places of honour
are kept for the distinguished;
take the humble chair.

Maybe you’ll be asked
to come to a higher seat;
but then, maybe not.

Better to be known
for grace and humility,
and to be content.

when you expect a return
does not count for much.

When giving banquets
invite the poor, the needy;
they can’t return it.

when it cannot be repaid
is tested and true.

Jesus lived it well;
his life, generous with love
and humility.


© Ken Rookes 2016

The unexpected generosity of ratbags

A haiku sequence.

Thanks for the stories,
Jesus. This one is cunning;
sneaking up on us.

The Samaritan,
like Muslims in our own age;
fear and suspicion.

From Samaria,
an unexpected hero
when others had failed.

This tale confronts me:
am I the Samaritan?
Or am I the priest?

At the heart of this story,
and of the gospel.

“Hey there!” says Jesus,
“You who hear this tale of love:
go and do the same!”


© Ken Rookes 2016


The Good Samaritan Rap can be found here.

An alabaster jar

As is their wont, the Pharisees grumble
at the wastefulness of a woman;
who, in this story of beauty and grace,
spills her precious ointment upon Jesus’ feet.

They also grumble
at the wastefulness of the anointed one,
who, in his larger story of grace and beauty
pours love upon the undeserving.

Forgiveness and love, spilled with abandon;
this is the message of his living.
Consider this;
you who are wont to grumble.

© Ken Rookes 2016