Finding the lost

Haiku for fringe dwellers

The tax collectors
and all the other ratbags
listened to Jesus.

All the good people
objected: This man hangs out
with unworthy types.

He told them stories
about things that had been lost.
Now they‘re being found!.

It doesn’t matter,
sheep, coins, car keys or people;
the lost need finding.

Grace is ev’rything;
I once was lost, now I’m found.
So the old hymn goes.

The ratbag sinners,
by definition, are lost;
they need an embrace.

They dwell on the fringe;
Jesus, offers them friendship.
No one need stay lost.

Lift up your eyes. Look,
the lost are all around us;
love them like Jesus.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

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Tell us plainly

Haiku of the sheep

Who are you? they ask.
Tell us plainly, are you he
who God is sending?

You’re not serious,
he answered them. I’ve told you,
but you won’t believe.

You aren’t intrested
in what I have to tell you,
so stop pretending.

My sheep hear my voice,
they listen to my teachings
and they follow me.

I give them my life
and so we walk together
towards God’s kingdom.

They need have no fear;
I hold these sheep in my hand.
God gave them to me.

We act together,
the Father and I; working
to bring life and hope.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

Of all his stories

Haiku for a servant people

Imagination
is engaged less by constructs
than by parables.

He told his stories;
cunning, sneaking up on us,
causing us to think.

Many parables
cause us to squirm. Banish them;
choose other verses.

His stories trouble.
This one disturbs more than most;
gives no place to hide.

Unavoidable!
The king, (Jesus), expects us
to care for others!

Naked, in prison,
hungry, homeless or stranger;
we must show them love.

The neighbour in need
is an opportunity
to love your master.

Make no excuses.
We will be judged by our deeds;
by how we have loved.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

He comes through the gate

Haiku of selfless leadership

He comes through the gate,
the shepherd; so we trust him
to protect the sheep.

Up front, transparent,
one who goes ahead of us;
we will follow him.

Some leaders pretend:
Follow me, I’ll care for you!
In it for themselves.

Thieves, crooks and bandits,
these come to steal and destroy.
Jesus is no thief.

The good shepherd comes
to give his all for his flock.
The sheep know his voice

Jesus is the gate.
Through this man we enter life
abundant and true.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

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

Tell us plainly (no more riddles)

So, is he the Messiah;
and what does it mean
if he is?
That eternal-life thing;
is it about heaven and the afterlife,
or is it something more significant?
The sheep that hear his voice,
the ones that follow him,
we’re talking discipleship now,
costly and committed,
aren’t we?
It’s not just some pretty, clichéd,
Sunday-school image:
an assiduous shepherd,
with beard and long flowing hair,
carrying a cute but errant lamb
upon his noble shoulders;
is it?

Yeah, I thought so.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Other sheep

Taking heed of Jesus’ teaching,
listening for his voice;
looking out for others,
unafraid to make love’s choice.

The shepherd calls them by their name;
he’ll keep them safe from threat.
Come join him in the fold and know
his work’s not finished yet.

Some sheep have different colouring,
might feed on different grass;
they trust in hope and justice,
never fear what comes to pass.

Some speak with foreign accents,
step out in robes or veils,
make peace their golden standard
and weep when loving fails.

They may not pray like we do,
or sing our sacred songs;
but the flock, it comes together
when it stands against the wrongs.

Their doctrines might not be the same,
but one thing they agree:
love is the thing that matters,
forgiveness is the key.

Joined in freedom’s family-flock,
because that’s where they belong:
their differences won’t stop them
as they sing the shepherd’s song.

© Ken Rookes 2015