Posted by: alisonwalley | 5 July 2009


As I’ve said before on this blog, Scripture Union have been producing Bible reading notes for over 100 years. But now they have “a multi-media Bible experience” to “deepen your relationship with God”. And I don’t put the quote marks round in any derogatory fashion at all, but just to relay what SU actually say about WordLive.

WordLive really is multi-media. You can subscribe to it by RSS, email, mobile phone or podcast. Whether you read it or listen to it, you get the same basic outline:

  • Prayer
  • Bible reading
  • Main point with thoughts on putting the Bible passage into practice.

I’ve been listening to WordLive as a podcast. It’s fairly short – maximum of about six minutes – so it’s good for people on the move who don’t have much time. The time might seem short, but it doesn’t seem too short. There’s some music after the initial short prayer to give space for you to pray your own prayers.

The Bible passage is well read (no American accents here!), and even though the music continues behind it, it seems to work. I usually can’t stand music in the background of readings. Perhaps it’s because it’s because it’s unobtrusive here? The version used is the Contemporary English Version; on the website it’s the Today’s New International Version.

After the reading, there’s a comment (usually by another voice) to make you think about what you’ve just heard. There’s some music here too (which for some reason I find more intrusive), and this continues into another short pause before the last part, which directs you to the WordLive website and gives details of who produced the podcast.

If you do go to the website you’ll find extra comments and other passages to look at. In addition to the Main Point (adapted from Daily Bread­), there’s another page which continues the theme, a meditation (with picture or video clip). There’s also a small group programme with questions for discussion. You can join in forums online to discuss more too.

WordLive has a blog, a Facebook page and is on Twitter too. What more could you want?

Seriously, I think SU has created a really great resource here. And especially if you are used to getting your information from the web or on your mobile. I wouldn’t myself read the online version, but the podcasts work surprisingly well. While I don’t perhaps think the comments are as challenging as they could be, this probably reflects the shortness of the time (and the type of notes they’re taken from). I have been listening to some of these podcasts while walking to work and find they’re a really helpful way to reflect on God’s word before I get into the busyness of the day.


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