Hospitality

Haiku of grace

Martha and Mary:
the sisters receive Jesus
and make him welcome.

Hospitality.
Someone has to cook the food,
Marha is busy.

On the other hand,
Mary is quite indolent,
list’ning to Jesus.

A gen’rous spirit
is key to any welcome,
but Martha complains.

Lord, do you not care?
she protests, asking Jesus
to judge between them.

It’s all right, he says.
Mary hears my words of grace;
you should listen, too.

Jesus’ correction
is not without affection.
One thing is needed.

It’s about choices,
every day we make them;
choose grace ev’ry time.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

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Bethany friends

Haiku of love

His Bethany friends
make him most welcome; again.
Jesus is grateful.

Brother Lazarus
reclines at table with him
Martha is serving.

Mary! Ah, Mary.
What are you about to do
to demonstrate love?

Mary comes, bringing
a pound of costly perfume;
pours it on his feet.

The fragrance lingers,
along with indignation:
What outrageous waste!

Such extravagance
and squander! T’was better sold
and spent on the poor.

Returning her love,
Jesus speaks to defend her;
She has done no wrong!

This beautiful gift,
images her love for me;
soon I will be gone.

The poor will remain
to provide new occasions
to demonstrate love.

Gather what remains,
save it for my burial;
it comes soon enough.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

The birth

Haiku of wonder

When a king is born
the stories must reflect it
with wonder and awe.

Apart from angels,
this narrative is humble,
with a common cast.

Comes to Bethlehen,
the tradie with his girl-bride,
about to give birth.

A shed out the back
of a packed-out small-town pub.
Nothing flash in that!

A son is born, wrapped
in cloth strips and put to bed
in a feeding trough.

Shepherds get the news:
the Messiah has been born,
look for a baby.

This will be the sign:
a baby in a manger,
in David’s city.

The shepherds decamped
to see for themselves the child,
as they had been told.

They told ev’ryone
about the child, the one born
to save his people.

 

© Ken Rookes. 2018

The great song of announcing

Haiku that lead to fulfilment.

Mary went in haste
to visit Elizabeth
at home in the hills

Two women embrace,
both pregnant, feeling wonder
and knowing the joy.

They cry and they sing
their songs of expectation;
the world is pregnant.

The young woman’s song
filled with its socialist themes
won’t win many friends.

The proud are scattered;
powerful kings and rulers
brought down from their thrones.

And yet the lowly,
cast aside, will be lifted
and the hungry filled.

And what of the rich?
They have had it all; send them
away wih nothing.

A promise of hope
for the people who struggle:
The new realm comes!

All old promises
will achieve their fulfilment
in the One who comes.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

Annunciation

Haiku of wonder

In these ancient tales
unexpected pregnancies
convey the wonder.

God, they assure us,
is at last doing something
to sort the world out.

An agéd woman
has managed to conceive, now
it’s her cousin’s turn.

The angel’s busy
conveying surprising news.
The girl is nonplussed.

Do not be afraid!
Easy to say, Gabriel;
it isn’t your womb!

You will bear a son.
You’ll call him Jesus. He will
do amazing things!

That, we know is true.
We will follow his story;
we will follow him.

Her fears overcome,
the girl agrees, allowing
events to proceed.

Only Luke gives us
these strange announcement stories,
stretching the waiting.

We’re left to ponder:
is wonder the same as truth;
and does it matter?

 

© Ken Rookes 2017.

As the story goes

Haiku of unexpected life

As the story goes
Lazarus from Bethany
had been dead four days.

When Jesus arrived,
sister Martha did complain:
What kept you so long?

If you had been here!
I am the resurrection
and the life,
he said.

Yes, Lord, I believe
that you are the Messiah;
God’s Son, in the world.

Mary fell weeping
at Jesus’ feet. Lord, she said,
If you had been here!

Had you come sooner
my brother would not have died.
Take me to his tomb.

Jesus also wept.
They removed the entrance stone
to see life triumph.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017