33. Teddy’s Progress 2
(with apologies to John Bunyan)
Props: Toys as above or similar. Also a tiny book, and a white robe for Teddy. Teddy has a small black ‘bundle’ fixed around his neck with a rubber band.
Boys and girls, today we are going to continue with Teddy’s adventures. who can tell me what happened last time?
[Review story briefly.]
Well, Bluey reminded Teddy to stay on the straight and narrow way, and Teddy left in a happy frame of mind. The road led up a small hill, and there Teddy made his first discovery. I’d like you to come with me, and see what Teddy discovered. [Lead the children right to the front of the church to the foot of the cross.] Yes, there was a cross at the top of the hill. Teddy had never seen a cross before and he felt drawn to it. As he moved closer, something amazing happened. The load that he had been carrying for ages slipped from his back, rolled down the hill and disappeared, never to be seen again. [Pocket it!] Teddy was so pleased and thrilled, a little tear rolled down his cheek, but it was a tear of joy. He knelt down in front of the cross – or he would have, if Teddy's legs had been made that way.
And while he was there three angels appeared. The first gave him a little book. “Teddy,” he said, “you are a soldier of the Lord. This book will help you along the way.” Teddy was pleased. You remember, he had had a book like this before, but after he fell in the swamp, the pages all stuck together and were hard to read.
The second angel made a mark on his forehead. “Teddy,” he said, “This sign of the cross will remind you that you have come by way of the cross.”
The third angel gave Teddy a white robe which he put on. “Teddy, your sins have rolled away. This robe will remind you of how God sees you – clean and pure.”
Then the angels disappeared. Teddy would have loved to stay by the cross: this was the most wonderful day in his life. But then he remembered about the Celestial City, and knew he should set off again. Let’s go back where we were, and I’ll tell you about Teddy’s next adventure.
Teddy was happily walking along the straight and narrow way. There was a wall along one side. Unexpectedly, two creatures came tumbling over the w all and knocked Teddy flying. It was Fluffy and Scruffy. “Watch it!” said Teddy rather crossly, picking himself up. “No, you should watch it,” said Fluffy and Scruffy. “You should know to keep out of the way when people come tumbling over the wall. Anyway, this is the road to the Celestial City, and we are on our way.” “Oh,” said Teddy, “but shouldn’t you have come by the way of the cross, and received your book and mark and white robe?” “Oh no!” said the other two. “In our land, we always get here by tumbling over the wall. It is so much easier than going right back there! Come on, let’s go!” and off they ran leaving Teddy to wonder about these things.
A little further on, the road split into three. The straight and narrow way went up a very steep hill called ‘the Hill of Difficulty’, and then there was a nice easy road to the left and another to the right. “Let’s wait and see which way that old Teddy chooses,” said Fluffy to Scruffy. Soon Teddy arrived, and without pausing started off up the steep hill. “Now wait,” said the other two. “Why don’t we take these easier roads? They obviously all meet around the other side of the hill.” “I don’t know about that,” said Teddy, “but I know this is the way I must go.” What a good Teddy!
Well, Fluffy took the road to the left, and Scruffy took the road to the right. Fluffy’s road soon led to a very rough place with great holes in the ground, and Fluffy slipped and fell in. She struggled for a while, but couldn‘t get out, and after a while she got hungry and thirsty and ... Argggg!! ... died. Scruffy’s road led him to a lovely forest – just the place for dogs! He ran around madly – we won’t discuss what he was doing! There were lots of paths, and shortly Scruffy realized he was completely lost. And he got hungry and thirsty and ... Argggg!! ... died. So sad. They should have stayed on the straight and narrow way.
Meanwhile, Teddy was climbing up the steep hill. Half way up he came to a shelter which had been built for the pilgrims to rest. Teddy sat down on the seat, and pulled out his book. He read: Don’t fall asleep, but watch and pray. “What a good idea,” thought Teddy, and promptly fell asleep – he had had a big day. When he woke up it was nearly dark. Teddy was quite upset. “I should be on my way to the Celestial City, not sleeping,” he thought. When he reached the top of the hill, he had a real shock.
Coming straight at him was Rude Dolly. She had no clothes on, and Teddy was so embarrassed, he didn’t know where to look. But Rude Dolly didn’t care. She was running for her life, crying out, “The lions, the lions! Watch out for the lions! Run for you life!” And she disappeared back down the hill. Teddy looked ahead. There was the road stretching ahead. And there in the roadway were two very mean and fierce and hungry lions. They saw Teddy and roared in a very mean and fierce and hungry way. Teddy’s legs turned to jelly. What was he going to do? He had to stay on the straight and narrow way if he was ever to reach the Celestial City, but on the other hand he didn’t want to become dinner for two very mean lions!
Oh dear. Sorry children, we’ve run out of time! I’ll tell you what happened next time.
[Parents, this talk may or may not bear any resemblance to John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress ! There are several children’s versions of this story. You might like to buy a copy and read it to your children.]