Some rural haiku

Rural metaphors
abound in Jesus’ teachings.
This is an old one

The Lord is shepherd;
we find it in the Psalms, and
in Ezekiel.

There’s a few of them;
Jacob, Moses, Amos, Dave –
looking after flocks.

Good shepherd Jesus;
guide, protector of his flock,
knowing ev’ry sheep.

He is no stranger.
We know his voice, hear his words,
and we follow him.

Jesus is the gate,
through him we pass into life
in all its fullness.

Thieves and bandits still
speak tempting words; we must not
let them seduce us.

Good at pretending
they have our interests at heart,
but ripping us off.


© Ken Rookes 2020

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

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

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.

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