I had a little picnic with my wife the other day. Just a little one; made a thermos and a couple of sandwiches and drove up to the top of the hill behind our farm. We sat on the tailgate of the ute and ate our sandwiches, drank our coffee and looked over the fields of wheat that seemed to stretch to the horizon. As we sat there I became aware of the rustling of the wheat. I listened intently to the soft noise of the wind knocking the heads of grain and the stems of the wheat together creating a soft background noise. As the wind varied in strength the rustle of the grass seemed to move as if some invisible beast or spirit was passing by.
The rustling of the grass is a well-used phase, but we rarely actually hear the sound in nature. Perhaps it is because we lead such busy lives. Perhaps it is because most of us live in the towns and cities. Perhaps we are not good at listening to the soft background noises that accompany our lives.
Despite the uncertainties of such a wet Winter and early Spring rains the wheat and canola crops that avoided being flooded are looking like yielding bumper crops. The price of wheat is not likely to be high, but that’s farming. In the past nations rose and fell upon the bounty of their crops. The psalmist writing over 3000 years ago used this phrase as a blessing; “May there be abundance of grain in the land; may it wave on the tops of the mountains. (Psalm 72:16)
I am also reminded of a song. In “This Is My Father’s World,” we sing this line: “in the rustling grass I hear him pass.” The rustling grass may not be as majestic as mountains, waterfalls, the crashing oceans or tall trees, but it is significant. The reason is this. Throughout scripture God’s presence is revealed in the wind. In Hebrew the word for wind is the same as the word for the Spirit. Ruach and the Spirit of God are one and the same. When I hear the wind rustling the wheat, I am reminded that God is present among us.
As Christians, we proclaim that our world belongs to God and that all of Creation is his. The Creator claims every part of it as her own. We are stewards of all that God has made. We are Gods agents of renewal and restoration. We are called to bring peace to the chaos around us. The world belongs to God. It’s not easy to remain upbeat in the midst of so much chaos. All of us can become discouraged and overwhelmed. We need to be refreshed and encouraged as we press on. Take time to sit in the grass. Feel the breeze. Listen to the rustle in the drying grass. Let the winds cooling touch remind you that the Spirit of God is with you. May God put a smile on your face and refresh you when in the rustling grass you hear him pass. The Spirit is with us.
This is the gospel, and it’s good news.
Brian Spencer, Minister