The Word of God is Living and Active-

Unified Bible Discussion Class Leaders of the Plymouth United Church of Christ, Detroit


There is no group of people I am more proud and pleased to be associated with than the leaders of the Unified Bible Study at the Plymouth United Church of Christ, Detroit. Saturday night we gathered for dinner and conversation in preparation for a new series we officially began Sunday on Paul’s Letters to Colossians and Philemon.  The Unified Bible Discussion Series is a series of three classes each week that study the same lesson from the Bible.  There are three sets of leaders:  Atty. Sydney Harvey, my wife, Judge Denise Page Hood and Walter Willis lead the Sunday Morning Class.  Mamie Coakley, Mary Johnson Lawrence and Evelyn Hudson Wright lead the Wednesday Morning Class; and I lead the Thursday evening Class.

Mamie Coakley and Walter Willis

I explained to the class leaders that one of the things I find interesting about Colossians is that it includes some of the most powerful scriptures that talk about newness in Christ Jesus, but at the same time, Paul affirms the traditions of his day including women being subservient to men and slaves accepting the domination of their owners. An example of what Paul says about the Christian life is found in chapter 3:

3 So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. [1]

The following is also tucked within the third chapter:

Colossians 3: 18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart. 22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord[2]

Judge Denise Hood and Atty. Sydney Harvey


In an overview of Colossians, I encouraged the class leaders to engage their respective classes to discuss how they process different parts of the Bible, especially in the context of the culture in which we live. For example, today we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was a deep believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Bible, but like the progressive slaves throughout history such as Nat Turner and Denmark Vessey, Dr. King emphasized those parts of the Bible that focused on equality and love.


Rev. Dr. Georgia Hill, Michael Wright and Evelyn Hudson Wright

As you and I read the Word of God, my encouragement is that we embrace the good news of the Bible, digest the direction of the Bible, grasp the goodness of the Bible, and proceed down the path of peace and productivity that only the Word of God can provide.



Hebrews 4: 12 Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account. [3]


Questions for Reflection:




Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Col 3:1–4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Col 3:18–22). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Heb 4:12–13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.