Let Vibrancy Show!

I love summer and freshly mowed grass, trimmed shrubs and flowering plants on the property! I am far from a Master Gardener, but I do have an appreciation for things that grow. We have a manageable number of trees, shrubs, and border plants throughout our .55-acre corner lot. I also add a select number of flowers each spring to some pots and a raised flower bed. It's all I care to water, prune and otherwise nurture until the first freeze comes in late fall. This work of nature feeds my inner spirit and gives me energy. I remember hearing a friend say one time about her need for nature, "I have to move to think!" I resemble that remark when I get outdoors!
Vibrant Daylilies in Bloom!

What I love about the perennials of daylilies that border in the corner of the backyard is how low maintenance they are! They are incredibly hard, deep-rooted, and extremely tolerant of adverse conditions. Yet, these tall, spiky and grass-like leaves serve such a useful purpose in visually defining that area and especially holding the soil against the "rivers of water" that shed around the house during the seasonal rainstorms when the skies can release as much as 3 to 4 inches within an hour. These stalwart defenders hold their ground literally and figuratively! 😉

The best part of the daylilies is the "vibrancy show" that occurs without fail every mid-July. We are lucky enough to have two varieties of color blooming side-by-side. The yellow blooms trumpet out the praises of nature alongside their peach stripped companions each year for about three to four weeks. It is a visual chorus of splendorous color that brings me such delight! It's as if they are singing to me, "See our beauty! Enjoy our vibrancy show!"  

Let vibrancy show! Have you ever thought how God delights when his children live in such a way that the vibrancy of their lives shine and show forth as a beautiful flower in full bloom? During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus described the vibrancy of kingdom disciples who are blessed as "poor in spirit, mournful over sin, meek and gentle of spirit, hunger and thirst for the right things, show mercy to others, pursue purity, promote peace, and don't retaliate when wronged." (Matthew 5:5:3-12). Then Jesus described the identity of His kingdom followers as "salt" and "light" (vv.13-16).

I have used the Matthew 5:14-16 passage many times during seasonal candlelight services. These descriptors are so visual just before the "passing of light." Jesus' words are so compelling, "You are the light of the world! ... Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." This is what I think it means to "Let vibrancy show!"

Sometimes in a church classroom setting, I like to go to the marker board and do some "brainstorming." This is a way to get everyone involved by making a list without judging or weighing the meaning of the words. The goal is to get the ideas out and evaluate them later. And yes, I have had to chide more than a few eager beavers who like to evaluate as they go and can even cruelly say to their peers, "That's dumb!" That's when the facilitator must step in and insist that in a good brainstorming session such feedback is not helpful! 

Allow me to brainstorm the idea of a "vibrant Christian." What characterizes a believer who is vibrant? Here are a few phrases that come to mind: acknowledges God, Christ-like, Spirit-directed, Bible informed, prayerful and living by faith, winsome, listening and engaging, hopeful in disposition, transparent with integrity, strong yet disciplined, self-aware yet humble, compassionate and serving, respectful and unbiased, gracious and generous, relational and peace-loving.

About that last quality, John Wesley offered these perspectives in his teachings from the Sermon of the Mount, "The peacemakers 'endeavor to calm the storm spirits of men, to quiet their turbulent passions, to soften the minds of contending parties, and if possible, reconcile them to each other.'" During this season in our country we could surely use some "calming," "quieting," and "reconciling!" Let vibrancy in Christ show!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com



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