What is the kingdom like?

Haiku of discovery

Like a mustard seed,
small, seeming of no account;
yet it surprises.

Like yeast mixed for bread,
lost in the flour’s abundance;
transforming presence.

Like treasure hidden
in a field and forgotten;
a most welcome find.

Like a collector
who searches for a lifetime,
chancing on the prize.

When you find your pearl
nothing else really matters;
you must possess it.

So with the kingdom,
this way of being, of life
abundant and true.

When we were children
they told us of these things; now
they have become real.

 

© Ken Rookes 201

A Sower went out

Haiku for gardeners

He goes to the lake,
finds a boat beached on the shore.
The crowd waits, eager.

What word will they hear;
what deep message awaits them?
He tells them stories.

Calls them parables;
he wants to get them thinking,
pondering kingdom.

A sower went out
to plant; eager and with hope.
He cast seed widely.

What might it produce?
That, friends, is the mystery;
depends where it lands.

The path and its birds,
shallow soil on rocky ground,
or the thorns that choke.

There is good soil, too.
The disciples are puzzled;
What does it all mean?

The seed is good news,
the gospel of the kingdom.
Not all receive it.

Some seed finds good soil;
hearts that are open to love.
These will bear much fruit.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

The harvest is great

He travelled about,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming good news.

Jesus wept for them:
like sheep without a shepherd,
helpless and harrassed.

Call out to the Lord,
more labourers are needed;
the harvest awaits.

So much to be done
to bring peace, healing, wholeness,
forgiveness and hope.

The time had arrived.
He called the twelve together,
gave them the challenge.

Heal, bring life and love,
show them the kingdom is near.
Teach them about God.

Do it in my name.
Show God’s generosity,
don’t expect payment,

Bring in the harvest;
gather the people who love
into the kingdom.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

When John heard in prison

Haiku of enquiry

We missed you, Baptist;
your amusing desert rants
made us think again.

The authorities
were less amused; took offense,
waited for their chance.

If you’d stopped and thought
you might have backed off, instead
you’re locked in prison.

So you sent your mates
to find out what’s happening.
They seek out Jesus.

They ask: are you he,
the one we are expecting,
or do we still wait?

Open up your eyes,
what do you see, and hear
as you look about?

The blind see again,
lepers are being made clean,
the lame are walking.

And as for the poor,
they’re hearing the good news
with joy and with hope.

Go, tell the prophet
that God’s kingdom has come near.
Tell him: be at peace.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

There is a place

They say there is a place, a state;
a sacred somewhere.
Distant; but not always.
A mystery glimpsed, at times,
on other occasions, cloud-shrouded
with shimmering smoke, obscured
such that only the persistent
will gaze long and hard enough
to be certain it is there.
A place that is there to be found by those who search;
a few stumble upon it.
Their surprise and delight is great.

There, meaning is written sharply,
truths are incandescent
and painted on walls.
There, light shines with the clear brightness
of autumn late afternoons,
the loving is fierce,
and justice compels.
This elusive place appears
as a flash glimpsed
for a moment among the shadows;
where mystery’s flickering panorama excites
and calls to the depths
to awaken aches and earnings.

Seek, the man once instructed his friends.
You will find; and watch,
as the divinely dusted universe
opens to disclose its possibilities.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

The Keys of the Kingdom

The keys of the kingdom have been lost.
We know that Peter had them,
but he swears that he hasn’t seen them
for a long while.
Rumour has it they ended up in Rome.

There’s been quite a succession
of claimants to the role of custodian,
but some of us aren’t convinced
that any of them really knew
where the keys were.

Traditionally they hung from a ring
on the keeper’s belt. In recent times
they were apparently stored away,
and brought out on ceremonial occasions
with incense, robes and choirs.

Big and bronze, the keys clinked and rattled,
but were mostly only used
to regulate and control.
They did that effectively enough;
until recently.

They’re gone; not much doubt.
Doesn’t matter though,
and there isn’t any real point
prolonging the search; it’s widely thought
that the locks have all been broken

for some time, now.

© Ken Rookes 2014

The opposite

The opposite
of the kingdom of heaven
is that loss of spirit,
that diminution of hope,
that dark emptiness
where the possibilities
of surprise and generosity
have been forgotten.
No seeds grow,
the birds make no nests,
and no one searches for pearls.

© Ken Rookes 2014