Bible: 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NLT)

Bottom Line: The price God paid for our sins is more valuable than anything on earth.


  • 4 Pieces of paper

  • 4 Pens

  • 4 Clipboards

  • 4 Bags of 13 pennies

  • 4 Rolls of transparent tape


Divide students into four teams of equal size. 

Write the letters to the words “St. Patrick’s Day” vertically down the left side of each piece of paper.

Place each piece of paper and a pen on a clipboard and give one to each team.

Also, give each team a bag of pennies and a roll of transparent tape.


Say: Since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, I thought we could play a game that’s all about the holiday.

Each of your teams has been given a clipboard with a pen and a piece of paper that says "St. Patrick's Day" written down one side of the paper.

When I say, GO, your teams will begin to search our room to locate items that start with one of the letters from “St. Patrick’s Day.”  

You can choose any item in the entire room.

You have also been given a bag of pennies and a roll of tape. 

Now, it's not a pot of gold, but in our game, pennies are very valuable.

When you locate an item that begins with one of the letters in “St. Patrick’s Day,” you will tape a penny to it, and write the item down on your paper.

Each item in the room can only be used once.

You cannot choose an item that already has a penny taped to it.

Your teams can score bonus points for each green item that you write down.

You will have 3 minutes to find all the items, tape a penny to each item, and write the name of the item on your team’s paper.

You will receive one point for each item and an extra point for any item that is green.

The team with the most points at the end of the game wins!


Ask: When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, what types of things come to mind?

Allow a few responses from students.

Undoubtedly, you think of shamrocks, leprechauns, and a giant pot of gold.

I want to share some quick facts about the origins of St. Patrick’s Day with you:

  • Patrick is referred to as a Christian missionary and the Apostle of Ireland – although He was originally from Britain.

  • He was brought to Ireland as a slave, but escaped six years later and became a priest.

  • St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1737.

  • Shamrocks are the national flower/emblem of Ireland.

  • Patrick used the shamrock to explain the three persons of the Holy Trinity.

Although St. Patrick was originally associated with the color blue (He wore a blue robe), when wearing green clovers on your lapel to support Ireland became popular in the 1700s.

Soon after green became the national color.

As far as leprechauns and their pots of gold go, there is no connection to the faith or story of St. Patrick, but because both represent Ireland, they have become recognized together in popular culture.

I think it would be awesome if we could find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but that will probably never happen to any of us.

Did you know that gold is mentioned over 400 times in the Bible? 

Sometimes on extraordinary occasions—including one of the gifts that were brought by the wise men to Jesus.   

Gold is also referred to when speaking about idols and in warnings about the dangers of greed.

Let's read what the Bible has to say about the real value of gold.

Read 1 Peter 1:18-19.

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors.

And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value.  It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

Gold, silver, and any precious metal or jewel that is found on this earth can lose its value.

Gold doesn't corrode like other metals, and it has a unique and beautiful color, but it fluctuates in its value.

  • In 2011 an ounce of gold was valued at $1,900.

  • By 2015, the price of gold had dropped to $1,100.

The Bible verses we read refer to the “ransom” that God paid to save us.

Most of us have seen movie scenes where someone is held captive, and a ransom is required to set them free. 

Usually, the ransom has a high value and the person that is being required to pay it can come up with the money, plane, or getaway car being demanded.

Ask: When this scripture talks about the “ransom” that God paid, what do you think it means?

Allow a few responses from students.

When sin entered the world, it became our captor.

There is no way to escape sin’s grasp on our own. 

Sin in our lives can keep us from having a restored relationship with God and living and functioning with His peace in our lives.

That was never God’s plan for us.

He desires that we would be free from the effects of sin in our lives. 

To do this, a ransom was required to set us free.

That ransom was paid when Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead.

Only God could pay such a high ransom.  

He’s the only one who could do it.

When someone is held captive, he or she may try to escape, but the captor has carefully planned to make sure that there is no way out.

There was no way for us to escape sin in our lives until God paid the ransom for us.

Ask: Can you name some things people do to try to escape from sin in their lives?

Allow a few responses from students.

Sometimes people try to do good deeds or give a lot of money to the church to make things right with God.

They might attempt to quit sinning on their own or try to forget about the sin in their lives by drinking or doing drugs.

But the only way to be saved from an empty life is by accepting the ransom that has already been paid for you.

Today, I encourage you to accept the gift of God in your life.

You can’t earn it or come up with your own plan.

God has already given the most precious thing He has: His Son Jesus.

The next time you see a pot of gold or think about St. Patrick's Day, let it be a reminder of the significant value of the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us.

Back to blog