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.

Hospitality:
a forgotten eastern art,
much undervalued.

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

© Ken Rookes 2017

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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.

Hospitality
when you expect a return
does not count for much.

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

Generosity
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?

Generosity.
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

How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God.

The wealthy,
while offering ‘in principle’ support
for the concept of kingdom of God,
find the idea that God might want to direct
the ways that money is used
or disposed of,
somewhat disturbing.

Riches are from God, they assert;
our prosperity is proof enough
that we are virtuous and good.
The Lord would not have so blessed us
if it were otherwise.

With wealth comes responsibility;
we understand that,
and we take our obligations seriously.
Assistance must be provided
for widows and orphans;
the scriptures are strong on that point.
But the poor, as a category,
includes a range of people:
wastrels, profligates, intemperates and such,
not all of them deserving of our largesse.

When it comes to generosity,
it’s best to err on caution’s side.
A charitable trust, perhaps;
with appropriate tax benefits.

© Ken Rookes 2015

Queue jumpers

Jesus, spinner of many improbable
and awkward yarns,
once told a story about vineyard workers.
The workforce grew steadily
as more pickers were recruited
at various points throughout the day.
In the end, the undeserving latecomers
are treated with generosity,
while the twelve-hour labourers
merely get what is fair.

The indignation engendered
by the travelling teacher man
sees his polite audience shaking their heads
in disbelief.
And with the way he put his tale together,
the heat-of-the-day workers,
can’t even complain that the lucky ones
are queue-jumpers.
We, who are theologically informed,
understand that this story is all about divine grace,
improbable and outrageous.

Two millennia on
such generosity still offends.
Unless, of course, it is extended to ourselves.
We, as everyone can see,
are deserving.

© Ken Rookes 2014