The Laundry

Resources Needed:

  • Plain white t-shirt
  • Felt Tip Pens
  • Tub of washing power/stain remover


This gathering and confession activity uses an adapted version of Psalm 51. The adapted parts of the psalm are in italics:

We all do wrong things that offend God. Psalm 51 puts it like this:

You’re the One I’ve offended, and you’ve seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you, whatever you decide about me is fair. I’ve been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born.

(Invite people to come up to write their name on a plain white t-shirt as a sign of confessing their sins to God and symbolising the ruining of that perfect relationship.)

If I wanted to clean this t-shirt I could put it into my washing machine, add some stain remover and hope for the best. But the bible tells us that there is nothing that we can do to make ourselves clean before God. Every one of us has sinned and fallen short of God’s perfect standard.

We need God to do the cleaning for us. Psalm 51 again:

Generous in love—God, give grace!
Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
my sins are staring me down.
Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.

Offer a short prayer to thank God for forgiving us then read the final bit from Psalm 51 as call to worship.

God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from grey exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways, so the lost can find their way home.