Exchanged Life Spirituality

bonhoeffer 3There is probably no Christian to whom God has not given the uplifting and blissful experience of genuine Christian community at least once in her or his life. But in this world such experiences remain nothing but a gracious extra beyond the daily bread of Christian community life.

We have no claim to such experiences, and we do not live with other Christians for the sake of gaining such experiences. It is not the experience of Christian community, but firm and certain faith within Christian community that holds us together. We hold fast in faith to God's greatest gift, that God has acted for us all and wants to act for us all. This makes us joyful and happy, but it also makes us ready to forget all such experiences if at times God does not grant them. We are bound together by faith, not by experience.

Biblical Wisdom

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called․that you might inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9

Questions to Ponder

Why is "the uplifting and blissful experience of genuine Christian community" somewhat rare?
What is the "firm and certain faith" that holds Christians together even when there is conflict and tension between them?
What does it mean to say: "We are bound together by faith, not by experience"?
Psalm Fragment

How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes. Psalm 133:1-2

Journal Reflections

Write about an "uplifting and blissful" experience of genuine Christian community in your life.
Write about a time when faith kept you in community even though the experience of community wasn't so good at the time.
Intercessions

Think about your community of faith. If there is any conflict or tension in the community, pray that faith in the unity given by Christ would sustain the community as it seeks to resolve the conflict. If the members of your community of faith are presently at peace with one another, thank God for the experience of unity.

Prayer for Today

Lord, I need Christian community. Help me to be there for others in the same way I need others to be there for me.

40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.

http://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/40-day-journey-dietrich-bonhoeffer/2012/06/23

Exchanged Audio & Video

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Reflections to Consider

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Exchanged Publications

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Publications

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Music

  • Jesus be the centre

    Center is a song that speaks of the essence of our life in Christ, and echoes the words the Christ Read More
  • I Lift My Hands

    A powerful hymn of adoration and praise Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir. This succinctly captures the joy of knowing our savior. Read More
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Exchanged Reflection

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Exchanged Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Dallas Willard: An interview with John Ortberg on Understanding +

    Ortberg interviewed Willard toward the end of Willard's life about Understanding, Read More
  • Dallas Willard on C.S. Lewis +

    Willard discusses the  impact of Lewis on Christian thinking Read More
  • Dallas Willard: the genius of Jesus +

    Dallas Willard discusses the way that Jesus brings us to the Father, Read More
  • February 26 Devotional: Henri Nouwen, Ash Wednesday +

    When I speak, let it be of blessing and gratitude; Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • The Enigma of King Saul +

    Why did God choose Saul as the first king of Israel? Read More
  • All Things Working To the Glory of God: Stephen’s Martyrdom +

    God works in mysterious ways– Read More
  • God's Love For Us +

    The well of love God has for us is deeper than our imaginations can grasp-- Read More
  • Truth versus Deceit +

    As stated countless times throughout the Bible, God is pure–God is truth. Read More
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