word

Barth, CD I/2, p.691:

From a human standpoint the preservation of the Church depends, therefore, on the fact that Scripture is read, assimilated, expounded and applied in the Church, that this happens tirelessly and repeatedly, that the whole way of the Church consists in its striving to hear this concrete witness. As a rule the step aside which means a step into the abyss of death, the fatal lack of this self-forgetful attention, will scarcely betray itself as such at once. It will normally take the form of great fidelity (to what the Church has said) and great zeal (for what the Church believes that it must itself say). In this way it will apparently bear the seal of divine justification and necessity. Whenever life is exchanged for death, or death for life, in the Church, this fidelity and zeal are usually operative: much good will, much serious piety, wide vision, deep movements, and in it all the sincere conviction of not being in any way self-willed but rather obedient to the Word of God. What is not noted is that this so-called Word of God is only a conception of the Word of God. It may be created freely. More probably and frequently it will take the shape of an old (no longer newly tested), or new (not yet seriously examined) interpretation of Scripture itself, but not the Word of God as it actually lets itself be heard in Scripture. As such, conceptions of the Word of God may be very good, as also, for example, recognised dogmas and confessions, luminous and helpful theological systems, deep, bold and stimulating insights into biblical truth. But in themselves these things are not the Word of God itself and cannot sustain the life of the Church.

So much wisdom here. Barth asserts that it's not passion, faithfulness and zeal - nor vision, creativity and enthusiasm - that breathe life into the Church. What is so needed is the Word of God "read, assimilated, expounded and applied... tirelessly and repeatedly".

1 Peter 1: 22-25 (ESV)

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for

"All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever."

And this word is the good news that was preached to you.