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

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It was on the Sabbath Day

Haiku for those who would see.

Jesus was working;
it was on the Sabbath Day
that he healed the man.

The Pharisees freaked,
the thing was most improper;
called an inquiry.

What have you to say?
He can’t heal and break the law;
must be a sinner.

A sinner, you say?
He opened my eyes. I choose
to call him Prophet.

Yes, this is our son.
Yes, he was born without sight,
and yes, now he sees.

How did it happen?
Why are you questioning us?
Ask him, he will know!

They inquire once more:
His power must be from God,
says the seeing man.

The crowd was aroused,
the leaders were embarrassed.
So they threw him out.

Jesus found the man.
Now that you can see, he says,
keep your eyes open.

Some with eyes to see
choose the darkness over light;
they make themselves blind.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

On the sabbath

Haiku for the religiously observant.

On the sabbath day
the afflicted woman came.
She asked no favours.

Eighteen years of pain,
with body bent and twisted;
Jesus called to her.

Freed by Jesus’ words,
standing upright, rejoicing;
giving praise to God.

Religious leaders
speak to defend the sabbath
from such outrages.

Six days for working!
The seventh’s not for healing;
come another day!

Get real, says Jesus.
Common sense and compassion
must rule ev’ry day.

Living is empty
if love no longer shapes us;
Embrace its freedom.

The crowd rejoices;
opponents are put to shame.
Don’t mess with Jesus.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Now that day was a Sabbath

A haiku sequence

In Jerusalem
by the Sheep Gate; see, a pool
with five porticoes.

Beth-Zatha by name.
There the invalids gather,
waiting for a sign.

When the angel stirs
the water, the race begins;
to claim the healing.

This man cannot walk;
he will never enter first.
He lies there, hoping.

It was a Sabbath
when Jesus came to that place;
breaking all the rules.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Put them to shame

Put them to shame, Jesus:
those pompous guardians of Sabbath law
whose self-enforced enslavement
causes them to overlook
things of wonder, grace and beauty.
 
Put them to shame, Jesus:
the offence-takers
who kill hope and close their eyes
to love’s possibilities.
The law has not saved the woman,
bent and broken for eighteen years;
she is also a child of God.
 
Teach them, Jesus,
that liberation and truth will not be denied,
and that grace abounds and extends,
unconfined by our fears
or the hardness of our hearts.
Put them to shame, Jesus;
put them to shame.
 
 
© Ken Rookes

Another poem for this coming Sunday is here