Household music and DVD collections could be a good starting point for studying the Bible this Lent, teaches a new five-week course called Exploring God's Mercy, compiled by the Bishop of Sheffield, Dr Steven Croft. Suitable for church groups, couples or individuals, the course prepares us for the festival of Easter by reminding us just how much God loves us, using Scriptures, specially filmed You Tube videos, podcasts for iPods, group discussions and prayer.
It recommends playing popular songs or DVD clips at the start of each session, to set the scene for that week's theme.
The book is inspired by a particular period of prayer and reflection before Steven Croft became a Bishop when he was on study leave about five years ago. It bears witness to Dr Croft's wide experience as a parish priest, as warden of Cranmer Hall theological college and as Archbishops' Missioner and leader of Fresh Expressions before becoming Bishop of Sheffield.
"The depth, strength and constancy of God's love is of course a lifetime's journey," he said, "and Exploring God's Mercy is designed to take groups or individuals further on that journey."
Communicating a timeless message by modern means, Church House Publishing's most digital Lent course yet focuses on five images of salvation: the weekly sessions are entitled Lost and Found: Hungry and Satisfied; In Prison and Set Free; Sick and Made Well; Storm Tossed and Comforted; Living the Fruitful Life.
Each session contains a reading from Psalm 107; a testimony based on Mark's Gospel focusing on the ministry of Jesus; and a New Testament passage looking at Christ's passion, death and resurrection.
Recommended additional material includes the single edit of Lily Allen's The Fear, the Neil Diamond song Pretty Amazing Grace and clips from Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the movie 2012.
Exploring God's Mercy: Five images of Salvation by Steven Croft (ISBN 978 0 7151 4224 0, price £5.99) is published by Church House Publishing. It is available to buy at all good Christian booksellers or direct from the publishers at http://www.chpublishing.co.uk/exploringgodsmercy where links to the free accompanying YouTube videos and podcasts can also be found.