Won’t be who you want

Haiku for causing offence.

They spoke well of him.
impressed by the things he said,
gracious, filled with hope.

Local boy makes good!
We remember Joseph’s son;
yes, he’s one of us!

He can’t let it rest.
I’m not who you think I am,
won’t be who you want.

There are no home town
prophets. Their honour is found
in other places.

Elijah went not
to help Israel’s widows,
but one in Sidon.

Prophet Elisha
cleansed the Syrian leper;
none from Israel.

I’m no longer yours.
Other folk will find more faith,
receive the blessings.

In the synagogue
the people rise up with rage
at the things he said.

They would have killed him,
thrown him down from the cliff top,
but they changed their minds.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

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Home town Nazareth

Haiku for returning.

Across Galilee
Jesus spoke of God’s good news;
the people listened.

They liked what he said,
and praised him for his message;
his words gave them hope.

Home town Nazareth:
he went to the synagogue
and stood up to read.

They gave him the scroll.
Prophet Isaiah. He found
the words, read them out.

The Spirit of God
rests on me, I bring good news
to those who are poor.

I proclaim release,
the recovery of sight,
freedom and blessings.

And then he sat down.
Today, he said, this scripture
is being fulfilled.

Today? Yes today!
You who hear these words this day,
lift your hearts, rejoice!

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

Cana

Haiku of celebration

Coming together,
two people joining in love;
great celebration.

Gospel writer John
builds wonder right from the start:
spins his wedding yarn.

They were all present:
Jesus, his Mum, disciples;
for the wedding feast.

The Cana couple,
all bouquets and bridal waltz!
Then the wine gives out.

Mother Mary comes
with her high expectations.
My son, do something!

Son, Jesus, resists.
Why bring your request to me?
It isn’t my hour.

She tells the servants,
Do whatever he tells you.
Water jars are filled.

They draw some water,
take it to the chief steward.
What a splendid drop!

The good wine comes first,
the lesser when folk are drunk;
you’ve held back the best!

A kingdom image;
the inferior gives way
to the surpassing!

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

 

High Expectations

Haiku of anticipation

High expectations
reverberate through Judah:
has the time arrived?

The baptising man;
we’ve been waiting for so long,
could he be the one?

They put it to him:
Are you the Christ-Messiah?
He answered them: No!

I wash with water
baptising to cleanse your sin;
he is so much more.

He comes bringing fire
to fill you with the Spirit;
set your hearts ablaze.

When the candidates
had all been baptised by John,
Jesus himself comes.

As he is praying
he doors of heaven open
Spirit-dove descends.

Heaven’s voice is heard,
(whisper, thunder, who can say?)
My beloved Son!

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

The boy Jesus

He was twelve years old
when he went with his fam’ly
to Jerusalem.

Nobody missed him
amidst all the confusion
of the festival.

The fam’ly heads home.
A day into the journey
they note his absence.

At last they find him
sitting among the teachers
in the great temple.

The twelve year old boy
holds his own with his questions
and his perception.

They were astonished,
his parents. They chastised him,
Why have you done this?

Why did you seek me?
You should have known where to look;
in my Father’s house.

In twenty years’ time.
He will return for the feast
and the conclusion.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

To Bethlehem we come

The course of the Advent and its violet road-map
was determined two millennia ago.
We who claim our places among his disciples
walk the Coming-Season’s famous annual path to Bethlehem.

Was he even born there?
Perhaps / probably not:
it doesn’t matter.

We tread our Advent road toward Bethlehem
to meet with shepherds and other disreputable people
to sing the songs of the coming of our friend and mentor.

We travel, recalling those irresistible demands of the ancient bureaucracy
to be counted, numbering ourselves
among those blessed to share in his suffering.

We bypass Jerusalem,
knowing that there are many places where truth is hidden,
that deeper truth awaits its revelation,
and that our ultimate destination will, one day,
include that great and troubled city.

Our journeying eyes search out inns and stables,
knowing that God and Spirit and other mysteries
will be found in the most unlikely places.

The city of David calls to us with the power of its history,
but we come, knowing that the new story being birthed
will be a far deeper drama
of love, generosity and sacrifice.

To Bethlehem we make our Advent
with gratitude, wonder, and trepidation.

© Ken Rookes 2018

In stables and sheds

In stables and sheds,
kitchens and lounge-rooms
where trees are trimmed and illuminated
and nativity scenes erected,
and where they are not;
where questions are asked
and objections raised,
where humans struggle
and sometimes doubt,
where the downtrodden gather
to become schooled in resistance,
where infants dance with delight and wonder
and old people pause to reflect,
where children are reckless enough to claim their voices
and challenge their elders,
where the just discover their anger
and politeness gives way to righteous insistence,
where generosity, compassion and hope reassert themselves
to confront the greed, brutality and fear at the centre of the universe;
here, in these places
among earth’s dust and straw,
and in many places like them
the Logos of God will be,
is being, born,
to shine again,
defiantly
in the darkness.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018