Let them follow me.

Haiku for disciples

The ominous road
calls him to Jerusalem,
paved with suffering.

The elders and scribes,
along with the Pharisees;
they will have their day.

And he will be killed.
Don’t say such things, said Peter.
This must not happen!

Move away, Peter.
Your concerns are human things;
they don’t come from God.

Jesus called his friends;
Be one of my followers,
carrying your cross.

In saving your life
you’ll lose it. Lose it for me;
and you will find it.

This is paradox.
Embrace its absurdity
and find your true life.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

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Taking it up

Haiku to make one hesitate

You who would follow,
look to Jesus, your teacher.
Try to be like him.

You might not win friends.
Jesus made enemies, too;
you won’t be alone.

There are no secrets.
Stand boldly, proclaim God’s truth;
do not be afraid.

Hold firm, speak my name,
be known as my disciples;
I will keep you safe.

It won’t be easy;
don’t expect a life of peace.
Jesus brought a sword.

Son against father,
daughter against her mother;
families divide.

This cross is painful.
No bright trinket on a chain;
wear it if you dare.

Worthy followers
understand the challenges,
know the costs of love.

My friends, be prepared;
if you want to find your life
you must let it go.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

He was in the beginning

Haiku of the coming

In the beginning.
They are indivisible,
the Logos and God.

Into the nothing
the Logos-God mystery
find their voice and speak.

The word, now spoken,
all creation comes to be.
Here is wonderment.

The Logos brings life;
life and light for humankind,
defeating darkness.

Logos, always there
in the world he created,
passes through, unseen.

Among his people
he finds no welcome nor home.
The loss is their own.

Yet some received him,
believed, and living by faith,
were made God’s children.

To be born of God,
transcending earthly limits;
this, then, is glory.

The Logos took flesh,
our flesh, and lived among us;
full of grace and truth.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

In the resurrection, therefore.

Nine haiku for us sceptics

The Saducees ask
good questions: What does it mean:
resurrection life?

They already know
there is no life hereafter;
but does the teacher?

In the age to come?
The question is audacious;
It won’t be like that!

God of Abraham,
God of Isaac and Jacob;
life with God goes on.

God of the living
with whom those who have long passed
share resurrection.

There can be no death
for those who find life in God;
they are God’s children.

Jesus spoke of life
washed with eternal purpose.
They will die no more.

The disciple knows
that resurrection living
happens here on earth.

Can a Sadducee
also be a disciple?
Would that be all right?

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

My name is Legion

Legion were my hauntings,
and numerous the years of their torments.
Great was my nakedness,
and multiple the chains and shackles
that lay rusting among the weeds,
failed and broken.
Vast was my hopelessness,
deep my despair,
and terrible the fear
evoked by my unholy presence.
Many were my dwellings
among the tombs outside the city.
Considering myself dead,
I was at home there;
and at the same time, lost.

Manifold were the blessings
from the hand of the Galilean;
who arrived, uninvited,
at this desolate place,
to speak his words of healing,
hope,
Liberty and life.
They sent him away;
I would have gone with him.
“Return to your people,”
he told me. “Be a living declaration
of the wonders of God.”

I did as he said.
My heart,
however,
followed him to Jerusalem.

© Ken Rookes 2016

Another resurrection story

Do not seek death, death will find you.
But seek the road that makes death a fulfilment.
Dag Hammarskj
öld

Another resurrection story. In the township of Nain
an only son joins Lazarus, and in time, Jesus himself.
(Let’s be generous, and add the daughter of Jairus;
that makes four members of the resurrection guild.)

Perhaps the widow’s son will outlive her, this time;
(this is the way things should be).
Then she will be spared the bitterness
of rekindled grief.

Another resurrection story,
but they are all really part of the one.
Death’s ultimate conqueror
having come among us.

The ones who followed after him
eventually understood that bodily resurrections
have little use
beyond the postponement of grief.

Death however,
should be received as a divine gift.
Death’s purpose is not found in its reversal
through resurrection,

but in the fulfilment of living.

© Ken Rookes 2016

When the wine gave out

Those things that have grown weary
and no longer serve their purpose,
are to be cast aside;
their place will be taken
by the eager and determined.

The caterers’ miscalculations
threaten to bring the nuptial celebrations
to a premature conclusion.
Water’s cold austerity
gives way to wine by the bucketful;
joy flows abundant and free,
and the party continues.
The attendant throng is suitably amazed;
the man’s mother, who provoked the action,
is merely impressed.

In the hands of her son
the wedding feast is made into
the metaphor par excellence:
life that is fruitful and expectant,
filled with hope, joy,
and laden with possibility.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016