Youth Group Game for St. Patrick’s Day
Title – Blind Luck of the Irish
- Cereal Bowls (4-6)
- Box of Lucky Charms
- Table Chairs for number of participants (4-6)
- Blindfolds (4-6)
- This works best as an “upfront” game where a few participants illustrate the game for others.
- Enough space is needed to accommodate the table/chairs
Fill the bowls with Lucky Charms cereal. If this cereal in not available, you can mix marshmallows in a bowl with any other cereal/bite-sized food choice. Select 4-6 participants and have them sit down behind the table for the rest of the group to see. Blindfold the participants. In a pre-determined allotted time (1-3 minutes works best) have the participants separate out the “charms” (i. e. marshmallows) from the rest of the cereal.
How to Play
- Participants must keep their hands fastened behind their backs meaning they must only use their mouths.
- The participant with the most marshmallows separated out at the end of the time wins.
- Tip: This is potentially a very messy game. It might be wise to place towels down under the chairs.
History of St. Patrick
The man for which the holiday that we celebrate every March 17 is named was a real person. Originally called by his latin name, Patricus, he was kidnapped by Irish marauders when he was only sixteen. He was held captive for six years, often treated cruelly, before he finally escaped the country and became a priest. Years later, he returned to Ireland, the land where he endured his captivity, as a missionary. His story is one of amazing grace, forgiveness, and love.
In researching this story, it reminded me of a similar story of captivity and grace. A man named Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. Years later, the tables were turned and Joseph had the opportunity to get revenge on those who had made his life miserable. Instead, read what he did.
Read Genesis 45:4-7
“Please, come closer, ” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors.”
The holiday of St. Patrick’s day is often celebrated as a happy day filled with partying and even excessive drinking. Think back to the game we played. It was meant to illustrate one of the stereotypes of the Irish people… that they are “lucky”. In some regard, this is true. St. Patrick (and many other missionaries who followed) did not have to go where God sent him. One of the reasons Patrick was able to successfully reach the people of Ireland for Christ was because of the years he had spent in captivity learning the language and culture. In the same way, Joseph saw his time in Egypt as God’s way of placing him exactly where he needed to be.
Both men could have acted in anger, resentment, and hatred. They could have been bitter toward God and the people who had wronged them. Instead, they allowed God to use their difficult journeys to lead others to Him. As we celebrate St. Patrick’s day, instead of treating with silly frivolity, let’s remember the incredible grace and forgiveness that Patrick showed. Let’s live the kind of love and forgiveness that he lived.
- Why do you think Joseph said that it was God who sent him into captivity?
- In Joseph’s story, it was his family that wronged him so badly. Why do you think it is so much harder to forgive those close to us when they hurt us?
- What do you think St. Patrick’s greatest challenge was in deciding to return to Ireland as a missionary?
- We do not know if the people who kidnapped St. Patrick when he was a boy ever became Christians, but if they did eventually see him again as a missionary, what do you think his return would have taught them?
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Like this game? View this Youth Group Lesson on St. Patrick’s Day