Bread that fills the soul

Haiku of life

He said, I am bread;
bread that fills the soul. Don’t thirst
or hunger, come!

The leaders complain:
How can he say these things, I
am bread from heaven?

God is doing this,
drawing folk to hear my words;
they shall know God’s life.

Open your eyes, ears,
to learn God’s truth, to receive
God’s life eternal.

Wilderness manna
from God fed hungry people;
but later they died.

Heaven’s living bread
gives eternal life. I am
the bread from heaven.

I am bread. I give
my body; a gift of life
for all humankind.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Bread that is true

Haiku for hungry people

The persistent crowds
seek Jesus, boarding their boats
to sail after him.

You’re looking for me
because I fed you with loaves;
but you’re still hungry.

Bread for the belly
lasts but hours. Seek God’s bread,
feeding the spirit.

The bread that is true,
far better than Moses gave,
comes from the Father.

Sir, give us this bread
always; each, every day
feed us with your life.

I am bread for life,
says the Johannine Jesus;
come, believe in me.

Trust the things I say,
do the things I’m telling you:
so fulfil God’s work.

You, who are hungry,
and you who thirst for fullness,
hear my words and live.

© Ken Rookes 2021


Haiku for the hungry

They came seeking signs.
Were not his words sufficient?
Apparently not.

The crowd was hungry
for his words, for the healing
the signs and the hope.

There’s a food shortage;
the hunger is great, it gnaws.
Jesus must feed them.

A boy brings his lunch.
Five barley loaves and two fish.
That will not go far!

Here is mystery!
Somehow all are satisfied;
their hungers addressed.

An impressive sign!
This indeed is a prophet,
the one God has sent.

That is not a sign;
this is a sign! Jesus strides
across the lake

You want a sign? Here
try this, he says, winking, as
he crosses the lake.

Don’t be afraid, it
is I! Jesus says; his words
bringing on God’s peace.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Escaping the crowds

Haiku for a retreat

They have been busy;
the twelve he sent out to share
his life-giving news.

To the wilderness
they retreat, an empty place
where they can rest up.

The lake is their friend!
They sail in their little boat
away from the throng.

He has become known.
Recognition blocks the plan;
the crowds come seeking.

They are shepherd-less,
these sheep. He steps up to teach,
sharing the kingdom.

His fame goes ahead.
In Gennesaret the crowds
see him and gather.

They hope to be healed.
We all do. Come, Lord Jesus;
we, too, are broken.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Getting on with it

Haiku for disciples

There is nothing new.
People still take great offence
at what Jesus says.

The self-styled righteous
can’t believe that such wisdom
can reside in him.

We know his brothers;
he’s just a carpenter’s son.
Look, there’s his mother!

Some pretend to be
followers; ones who listen
but forget to love.

So-called holy hands
are raised high in devotion,
but won’t do love’s work.

He has instructed
the twelve, revealed the kingdom;
now he sends them out.

You won’t need a bag,
don’t take spare clothes, bread, money;
our God will provide.

Go, share my good news.
Some will hear you, some will not.
That’s the way it is.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Two stories

Haiku of hope

They weave together,
two stories of healing, hope;
twelve years connect them.

Twelve years of bleeding,
Twelve years of shame. If only
she could touch his hem.

Twelve years and dying,
her parents are distraught. Come,
Jesus, heal our child!

A girl, a woman
both needing their lives restored.
Bring healing, give hope.

The girl sleeps, he says.
They laugh, knowing she is dead.
He sees beyond death

Ah, Jesus, my friend.
My own suffering is small,
yet speak life to me!

© Ken Rookes 2021

The storm

Haiku of stillness

After a long day
telling stories, parables,
Jesus needs a break.

Suggests a boat trip.
Let us cross the lake; we can
leave the crowd behind.

He slept in the stern
as winds gathered force and waves
beat against the boat.

They woke him. Teacher,
don’t you care that we perish?
He spoke: Peace, be still!

Rebuking the wind
and commanding the sea, he
speaks, and all is calm.

Why are you afraid?
He asked them. Where is your faith?
They were filled with awe.

Who, they ask, is this?
When our boat is being swamped
he brings us order.

Speak your word of peace
into my turmoil, Jesus;
let my waves be stilled.

© Ken Rookes 2021



Haiku of the kingdom

metaphors abound: seeds, growth
and much fruitfulness.

Here is the kingdom;
seed is scattered on the ground,
grows in ways unseen.

How does the seed grow?
Who can understand? Who cares,
we’ll still harvest it!

Again, the kingdom
is like a mustard seed; small,
but great potential!

A home for the birds;
a great outcome for this seed,
small and unacclaimed.

Parables sneak up,
catching hearers by surprise;
life-giving wisdom.

Great story-telling
Jesus! Drawing us in, and
disturbing our thoughts!

© Ken Rookes 2021


Haiku for an errant son

A new sensation;
the crowds flock to see Jesus,
that they might be healed.

His family hears,
are disturbed by the reports:
He’s out of his mind!

The scribes say he has
a demon! But a house that’s©
divided can’t stand.

Before you enter
to plunder a strong man’s house,
first you must bind him.

When the Spirit moves
in ways you can’t understand,
don’t criticise.

Mum and the boys come
by; attempt to and sort him out,
to take him back home.

The family call
their son and brother: ‘Come out!’
But he stays inside.

‘Who is my mother,
my brothers?’ he asks the crowd?
You who do God’s will.

© Ken Rookes 2021

In the darkness

Haiku of enquiry

Nicodemus comes
to see him, in the darkness,
hiding his questions.

Own your questions, Nic!
Don’t worry what others think;
reach out for the truth.

This man called Jesus,
is he sent from the Father?
Let’s see what he says.

You must be reborn!
What mystery he utters:
how can these things be?

If you would enter
the kingdom, you must come through
water and Spirit.

From the things of earth
to the realm of the heavens,
I speak of these things.

Through the Spirit we
rise beyond the world’s limits
to the realm of God.

Ah, teacher of law,
you must understand these things;
you will find life here.

For love Jesus comes,
bringing God’s word of grace, hope,
and life from above.

© Ken Rookes 2021