Even the wind and the sea

Haiku for the storm-tossed.

When evening came
they took the boat, crossed over
to the other side.

Left the crowd behind,
looking for a brief respite.
Other boats came too.

In the stern, weary,
on a cushion, tired eyes;
Jesus falls asleep.

The wind is rising,
grows into a roaring gale;
waves are crashing in.

Fearful, they wake him.
Teacher, are you not concerned?
We could all be drowned!

Rebuking the wind
and commanding wild sea
he speaks: Peace! Be Still!

The wind dies away
and the waves cease their crashing;
Why are you afraid?

Why are you afraid​?
We’ve travelled far together;
have you still no faith?

Who, they ask, is this;
the wind is at his command,
the sea obeys him.

Words for the faithful
when all seems out of control:
Be at peace! Be still!

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

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He has a demon

Haiku for the family

Too busy to eat!
The crowd insist, make demands;
they press upon him.

His foes malign him.
They say he has a demon,
gone out of his mind.

His family, too,
are worried. They come to him,
try to take him home.

He gathers his friends,
laughs: a kingdom divided
surely cannot stand!

Take care what you say,
lest you blaspheme the Spirit
with your objections.

His mother arrives
with his brothers, calls him out.
He doesn’t respond.

Looking at the crowd
he asks, Who is my mother,
who are my brothers?

You are my mother
and my brothers, when you do
what God is asking!

 

© Ken Rookes. 2018

The Sabbath cornfields

Haiku for lawbreakers

The Sabbath cornfields
see his disciples breaking
the Sabbath work laws.

Plucking heads of grain:
harvesting, threshing, working!
All against the law.

The Sabbath, he said,
was given for humankind
not the opposite.

Jesus sits loosely
with the letter of the law;
he is ruled by love.

In the synagogue
the man with a withered hand:
will Jesus heal him?

Shall Sabbath prevail
and circumvent the healing?
No. He will choose love.

What does the law say,
on the Sabbath, to do good,
or should we do harm?

They will not answer.
Their hearts are hard, unable
to find compassion.

The mean and heartless
do not like being exposed.
The plotting begins.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

In earthen vessels

Haiku for the humble

We have this treasure,
the apostle asserted,
in earthen vessels.

These common clay pots,
plain and undecorated,
hold the light of Christ.

Humble followers,
nothing special about us;
yet he shines within.

Proclaim him as Lord,
for truly he is the one
God has sent to us.

The light that we bear
is knowledge of God’s Glory
seen in Jesus’ face.

We are afflicted,
persecuted and struck down,
but we are not crushed.

We have been perplexed
but not driven to despair,
nor are we alone.

Bearers of the death
of Jesus in our bodies,
his life is here, too.

As long as we live
his death is at work in us;
to shape and renew.

© Ken Rookes 2018

Entering the Kingdom

Haiku of the Spirit

Nic the Pharisee
worthy leader of the Jews,
slipped away one night.

Locating Jesus
he pressed him with his questions.
Tell me what it means.

Truly I tell you
if you would see God’s kingdom,
you must be reborn

How can these things be?
Can one return to the womb,
to be born once more?

It’s a Spirit thing.
The flesh is not important;
true life comes from God.

Unconstrained, the wind
unseen blows where it chooses;
so, too, the Spirit.

Earthly things confound!
When I speak things heavenly
how will you believe?

For the sake of love
God’s only Son lived with us
that we might know life.

He came among us
not to judge or to condemn
but to give us hope.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

When the Advocate comes.

Haiku for breaking out

The Spirit of truth,
AKA the Advocate,
will be coming soon.

I will send to you
one who will stand beside you,
who will take your part.

He will testify,
speak of me and what I say;
you must do so, too.

From the beginning
you, my friends, have been with me;
you know who I am.

This is the promise;
you will not be left alone,
the Spirit is yours.

On Pentecost morn,
wind and fire roaring through,
blowing dust away.

Imaged by fire,
water, and by rushing wind,
the Spirit has come.

Surprise us Spirit!
Drive us deeper into love,
disturb our comfort.

Needing to be healed,
the world and all its peoples;
come, Holy Spirit!

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

Belonging, not belonging.

Haiku for strangers

You gave them to me,
companions on the journey
towards the kingdom.

I made your name known.
They listened, learning from me,
and keeping your word.

They know that it all
has come from you; ev’rything
that I gave to them.

The hour comes soon
when I can’t be here for them,
to keep my friends safe.

Although I must go,
The world shall remain their home.
Father, protect them.

The world is hostile
to those who are of the truth,
those who don’t belong.

Never my true home,
now my friends are strangers too;
eyes fixed on God’s word.

Here they must remain,
it is here love’s work goes on,
my joy made complete.

They know you sent me.
As I was sent to the world
I am sending them.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018