Beginnings

Haiku of commencement

Mark takes up his pen
to write upon the parchment:
Jesus makes a start.

Departs Nazareth,
leaves the family behind.
South to the Jordan.

Finds the Baptiser,
raises his hand, comes on down;
Baptise me too, John.

As he emerges
dripping wet from the water
the Spirit descends.

Does the voice boom loud,
or is it a mere whisper?
My beloved son.

The Spirit takes charge,
drives him into wilderness;
a place for testing.

A time for praying.
Forty days of questioning;
forty days of doubts.

The days pass. He comes,
back to his people, convinced,
now, of his calling.

The time is fulfilled,
God’s kingdom is drawing near.
Good news: trust in it.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

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Out into the wilderness.

Haiku for considering

The Spirit led him
out into the wilderness.
Time to think and pray.

Fasting forty days,
the pangs gnaw at the belly,
the mind becomes sharp.

The tempter comes by
to clarify the issues
and offer advice.

If you are the one,
the Son that God is sending,
make bread from these stones.

I could use some food.
There’s so much more to living;
I’ll take the hunger.

Look at the city!
Throw yourself from its towers;
angels will catch you!

It’s there in the book,
if you make demands on God
you’re missing the point.

Power and riches!
Trust me, you can have it all;
simply worship me.

Enough! says Jesus.
Life is real, becomes worthwhile,
when you’re serving God

The tempter decamps,
leaving Jesus by himself
to weigh his options.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017.

Other poems reflecting on the temptations of Jesus can be found here, and here. and here.

In the wilderness

There must be a thousand temptations,
any dozen of which assail us
in any given twenty-four hour period.
Each one is subtly different,
but when we collect them
and place them under a microscope
we find that they all share the same essential DNA;
that they have all evolved from the one stem.
Power, wealth, comfort,
(I must have that!)
To be left alone to enjoy a peaceful existence,
(somebody else’s problem, not mine /
I’ve done my bit / am I my brother’s keeper?)
To be free from pain, suffering
(and therefore to forsake the work of love).
These, and the countless others,
all share in the same evolutionary taxonomy.
One, three or a thousand,
we all face our temptations,
every day.
Like Jesus in his forty-day wilderness struggle,
and through the years that followed.
Every day we face our temptations
and hope that, like him,
we can overcome.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016