Lenten, but later: Apps for Lent

20 April 2018

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LENT is well and truly over; so it may seem odd to review a Lent-based app. But such is the nature of seasonal apps that the only way to review them is once the season is over. But you can still download the app, and you may find it useful.

The Church of England’s Lent offering was #LiveLent: a daily Bible study with a difference: it is designed to encourage the user to take a bolder approach to evangelism. It is based on St John’s Gospel, which the Archbishops of Canterbury and York described as “God’s rescue mission to bring us from darkness to light.”

Each day, the app provided a brief Bible text and a short reflection. This was followed by a “Pause”: something short to think about. Users could do this during a daily #LiveLent devotional time; or later on in the day. For example, on Ash Wednesday, users were invited to “take time today to see the signs of life around you and within you; and say thank you.” On Lent 3 (4 March), users were asked “When were you last angry? What caused it? What was its effect on you and others?”

The app offers two suggestions for prayer each day. In addition to the daily collect, the app offers a suggestion for something to pray about, encouraging a more extempore time of prayer in addition to mere recitation. It then offers a daily suggestion for an act of witness, such as making “time to do some­thing for someone else with a lasting consequence”. The challenge for Easter Day was to be “like Mary” by telling your friends: “I have seen the Lord.”

The app was part of a bigger #LiveLent campaign, which included social media (hence the hashtag), and a guide for use in small groups. It has been produced for the Church of England by its regular app partner Aimer Media. This guide has previously reviewed other Aimer Media/C of E apps, including its Daily Prayer app (App Guide, 20 May 2016), which is still going strong.

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Aimer Media have produced other apps, too, not linked with the C of E, including Day by Day with God, which is billed as “Bible reflections for women”. When I first saw this, I wondered whether such an app was needed, or whether this was in the same class as Bic’s “For Her” pens, “for women with small hands”. I will leave others to decide.

Day by Day with God, produced for the Bible Reading Fellowship offers daily readings for “rooting women’s lives in the Bible.” The app offers a suggested daily Bible reading — with a link to the text on the free online biblegateway.com — and a reflection written by a range of Christian women around a specific theme. In addition to daily readings, users can choose to go directly to readings based on specific books of the Bible, or their favourite writer.

After a free-trial period, Day by Day with God costs from £1.49 for one month to £10.49 for a year.

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