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

Weeds

Haiku for a dilemma

Weeds among the wheat,
useless seeds grow with the grain;
contamination.

Good seed was planted;
where, then, do the weeds come from?
Have to blame someone.

Better pull the weeds
lest their seeds blend with the good;
be responsible.

The master says, No.
You might damage the good plants.
We shall be patient.

Wait for the harvest,
then we’ll properly discern;
sort the good from bad.

The end of the age,
(whatever that means), is time
enough for judgement.

The righteous shall grow,
shine bright, and produce much fruit
in love’s fair kingdom.

Don’t be dissuaded.
Grow strong in the grace of God.
Bear the fruits of love.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Will he find faith on earth?

The Almighty,
according to this parable,
interpreted by one, Jesus,
who is also called God’s son,
grants justice to those who seek it.
Whatever that means.
We could do with a bit more justice.
For refugees and asylum seekers,
women who are beaten,
children who are abused;
innocent victims
of air attacks,
lax gun laws,
racial bigotry, misogeny, and religious fear;
not to mention capitalism’s excesses,
corrupt politicians
and dishonest jurists.
Like the judge in the parable.

We who seek justice, this story declares,
are encouraged to cry out day and night
to the aforesaid Almighty.
I might quietly suggest
that such crying out,
railing against such a raft of injustices,
loudly, persistently and annoyingly,
might in fact be the inconvenient duty
of all who follow Jesus.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

They have Moses and the prophets

Haiku for closed eyes.

Poor man Lazarus,
by the gate, covered with sores;
we walk right past him.

The unnamed rich man,
dressed in purple, fine linen,
feasting ev’ry day.

Discarded food scraps
do not reach the rich man’s gate
or the beggar there.

Empathy fails us.
Please don’t disturb our comfort.
Make the beggars leave.

Death comes to us all.
Rich or poor, it matters not;
was your life worthwhile?

Where are your riches;
From where will your comfort come
when your life has passed?

Send me Lazarus,
or let him warn my brothers
that they might be saved.

That’s not how it works.
Let them listen to Moses,
and the prophets too

We’d rather not know.
Even when it’s God who speaks,
we do not listen.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

 

Not strong enough to dig, too proud to beg.

 

Enthusiastically embracing capitalist principles
of wealth, greed, and maximum personal benefit,
together with the dodgy ethics that serve them;
the manager in the story was a little less than honest,
using his master’s money to fund his exorbitant lifestyle.
He heard that the day of accounting was due,
and realised that the caper was up.
He proved as cunning as he was corrupt,
dishing out favours at his master’s expense,
so that he might call them in later
when he no longer had a job.
Not strong enough to dig,
too proud to beg;
and very clever.
The master,
forced to acknowledge the shrewdness of the scheme,
was presumably rich enough to see the funny side.
With grudging admiration
he allows his shady steward to get away with it.
We also manage to get away with it,
whispering with relief beneath our breath:
That was close!

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

When the lost are found

Haiku of welcome and celebration

He welcomes sinners,
this fellow, and eats with them.
He must be a fraud.

As was Jesus’ wont,
he told them all a story;
driving home his point.

Of his hundred sheep
the shepherd finds one missing,
goes to search for it.

A second story:
a woman loses a coin,
searches high and low.

When the lost are found
there is a great rejoicing;
also in heaven.

The small and the lost,
these, too, are valued by God;
and much loved also.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

The unexpected generosity of ratbags

A haiku sequence.

Thanks for the stories,
Jesus. This one is cunning;
sneaking up on us.

The Samaritan,
like Muslims in our own age;
fear and suspicion.

From Samaria,
an unexpected hero
when others had failed.

This tale confronts me:
am I the Samaritan?
Or am I the priest?

Generosity.
At the heart of this story,
and of the gospel.

“Hey there!” says Jesus,
“You who hear this tale of love:
go and do the same!”

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

 

The Good Samaritan Rap can be found here.