Dear Members and Friends,
Centuries ago during the Protestant Reformation beginning in the 1500's, one of the central discoveries and revolutionary ideas was the Bible itself. It is not easy for us to even conceive of the church without the Bible. The Reformation set it loose and now we hold it in our hands and read it for ourselves.
The 'Living Word' sums up this new use and appreciation of the Bible. Living Word - not Dead.
This means, in part, that there is no sermon without you. If we are not gathered for worship, and I write a sermon only for myself, it may be profound, helpful, scriptural, but not Living. The congregation turns an essay or speech into a sermon - a Living Word. The preacher and congregation, together, bring alive the Word.
Living Word has other meanings as well. 'God is Still Speaking' is the motto of the UCC, a testimony to aliveness of the Word.
Further, the Bible is a Living Word. We are not fundamentalists, which means, in part, that scripture is to be read and studied with an open mind. We do not deify a book, but we hear God still speaking in the words of the Bible, in spite of the vast number of passages which seem, well, just odd. The Monday morning Bible study group experiences the Living Word; ideas and proclamations, some dating back 3000 years, still very much alive as we read it today.
And Jesus is also understood to be The Living Word. From his person when he walked the Holy Land, to the parables and miracles, to his death and resurrection, he, the clearest expression of the Living Word, is with us today.