Index cards or sticky notes
Fireplace, fire pit, or fireproof metal bowl
Matches or lighter
Christ died for us while we were still sinners, before we even knew that we needed forgiveness. But we experience the deep sweetness of God's forgiveness when we confess our sins and when we forgive others.
"Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:8-9).
Give each person a couple of index cards or sticky notes. Let group members write a specific sin they have not confessed to God, or one for which they have trouble accepting God's forgiveness. (Members do not have to share what they write—it can be between them and God—unless they want to share).
Then have each person write down a sentence or two describing a situation where they need to forgive or have forgiven someone.
Take turns placing the papers in the fireproof bowl or fireplace/fire pit and burn them. (As an alternative to burning the papers, simply shred them.) As they burn, pray this line from the Lord's prayer: "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Then read this verse aloud together:
"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more" (Isaiah 43:25).