Scribes and Pharisees

Haiku for servants

Scribes and Pharisees:
religious establishment,
power and bluster.

Religious heavies
still imagine that they rule,
brandishing their keys.

Creating burdens
is the thing they excel at;
they will weigh you down.

Telling the people
that they are not good enough
to make it with God.

Look how good we are!
Try your best to be like us;
we’re exemplary.

Measure our fringes,
see our wide phylacteries;
don’t we look the part!

Do not play their game.
Be humble, self-effacing,
a servant of all.

You are my students.
Don’t call yourself a teacher;
you have one teacher.

They still know better
than the rest of us; they still
tell us how to live.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

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Be in agreement

Haiku of the disappointing

Sinners in the church!
How could it be otherwise?
Flawed humanity.

Work through your issues;
quietly if possible.
Maintain fellowship.

Try to practise grace,
forgiving one another.
Sort things out with love.

Rules are enacted
to limit bad behaviour;
love doesn’t need rules.

Accept correction
from your sisters and brothers
as a caring gift.

Agree together
on your Father’s purposes;
advance God’s kingdom.

Where two, three gather
in my name, to seek my will,
I am with them there.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Things that defile

Haiku for a blameless life.

Those who are upright
offer many righteous rules
to keep us from sin.

Laws for cleanliness,
crucial for a blameless life!
Make sure you obey!

Forget about them!
When the blind guide each other
both fall in a pit.

Where do they come from,
all those evil intentions?
They come from the heart.

Not what we take in
that determines righteousness,
but what we put out.

 

© Ken Rookes 201

You have heard that it was said (2)

Another haiku sequence

You know it is said
eye for eye and tooth for tooth;
this prolongs the fight!

Jesus says revenge
and payback get you nowhere;
grace is what’s needed.

Turn the other cheek.
It’s not easy, but opens
the doorway to peace.

Do the things you should.
Let that be your starting point;
then the extra mile.

Love builds empathy,
enhances all of living,
goes beyond duty.

If somebody begs
or asks to borrow money,
do not refuse them.

Life is in giving;
withholding diminishes.
Live generously.

They say, ‘love your friends.’
Love your enemies as well,
and pray for them, too.

God’s loving regard
falls upon all, good and bad.
Try to be like God.

Love those who love you.
Big deal! The ratbags do that.
Jesus calls for more.

Be servants of love,
sons and daughters of heaven.
Here is perfection.

© Ken Rookes 2017

The first part of this haiku sequence from Matthew chapter 5 is found here.

And a haiku sequence on salt and light, also from Matthew chapter 5 can be found here.

You have heard that it was said (1)

You have heard that it was said (1)
A haiku sequence,

Going beyond law.
You have heard that it was said;
but I say to you.

You shall not murder;
but anger with a brother
also is a sin.

Insult a sister
or call a brother “you fool,”
this will bring judgement.

Don’t attend worship
if you have caused an offence;
first be reconciled.

If you are accused
don’t wait ’til it gets to court,
sort it out before.

No adultery,
but even looking with lust
damages the heart.

If your hand or eye
leads you astray, discard it.
Live with truth and grace.

Do not swear falsely;
better still, don’t swear at all.
Stick with ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

He rewrote the law,
calling forth our better selves;
for the sake of love.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

The sun will be darkened

In ancient writings
the sun, moon and stars
combine to herald the coming
of the new age.
The laws of physics are cast aside
as the sun draws its blinds,
the moon withholds its light from the earth,
and the stars are swept into glowing heaps,
having fallen from the sky.

Outrageous metaphors,
emblazoned in the heavens
to signal cosmic events
and to fanfare the advent of the Son of Man;
whatever that means.
Something to do with Jesus,
and what he came to do,
and be. Something to do with
defiant love, reckless compassion,
and a quixotic commitment to justice, peace
and hope.

It could happen.

 

© Ken Rookes 2014

Burdens hard to bear

I worry and I fear,
I need and I want.
I am anxious;
I could lose everything.
I am free;
I am burdened.

Some burdens are my own creation;
I tell myself that I am dealing with them.
Others I have received,
unwelcome gifts weighing heavily
upon shrinking shoulders,
from Scribes and from Pharisees,
who, in every age,
know with certainty what is best for me

I am burdened;
I am free.

To feel, decide
to do, to don’t.
To open wide;
to will, to won’t
To bleed, to weep;
to give, to keep.
To rage, to rail;
to struggle, fail.

Listening to the silence
with eyes half-opened,
mind half-closed.

Seeing the ugly,
reaching after beauty,
coveting truth,
questioning.

I am free,
I am burdened.

Holding on to freedom,
letting go the burdens.
Holding on to burdens,
letting go the freedom.

© Ken Rookes 2014