5. Building bridges
Props: Toys and toolbox
Hello boys and girls! Here are a couple of old friends [Produce Noddy and Pandy] In fact, Noddy and Pandy had been best friends for many years. They lived out in the country, in little houses separated by a beautiful green meadow. And if Pandy had some painting to do, Noddy with his long arms would be over to help. And if Noddy was digging up his potatoes, Pandy would be sure to be there, giving a helping hand.
But one day, there was some sort of disagreement. Nobody remembers just what. But Pandy said something rude to Noddy, and Noddy answered back in a bad way. And things gradually got worse and worse between the friends until Pandy just couldn't stand the sight of Noddy, and if Noddy saw Pandy, even in the distance, he would go inside his house and slam the door.
One day, Pandy went off to town for the day, like he did from time to time.
“I’ll show him,” thought Noddy, and he went to his shed and came out with a bulldozer! And then he made a big deep gash right across the lovely lawn. Then he diverted water from a nearby stream so that there was a river right across between the two houses.
When Pandy came home and saw what Noddy had done, he was really mad. He didn’t sleep all that night, thinking up ways to get even with Noddy.
The next morning, a stranger knocked on Pandy’s door. [Bring out Teddy and his toolbox.] “Good morning Sir! Do you happen to have any work I could do?” Pandy could see from the stranger’s toolbox that he was a carpenter. “You certainly can,” said Pandy. “I would like you to build me a tall fence right along this side of that river, so that I don’t have to see my neighbour or look at his house. There is a pile of timber there, and nails, and nuts and bolts and a post hole digger for making holes. Do you think you can do it?”
“Yes,” replied the stranger, “I understand your problem.”
So Pandy went off to town for the day, and the stranger set to work, hammering, sawing, nailing timber and boring post holes. Pandy came home just as the stranger was finishing, He went out the back and was amazed. “Where’s my fence?” he stammered. There was no fence, but a beautifully handcrafted wooden footbridge stretched across the river to the other side. And walking towards his was Noddy, smiling.
“What a wonderful fellow you are, Pandy,” he said. “After all the things I have said and done, you have built this beautiful bridge across to my side. Do you think we might be friends again?”
Pandy thought for a moment, and then said, “Yes Noddy, I would like that very much.”
“Well, I must be going,” said the stranger, packing up his tools.
“Oh, please stay,” said Pandy and Noddy. “We have so many other jobs you could do.”
“No,” said the stranger, “ I must go. I have many other bridges to build.”
Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, help us to love our neighbours, our friends, and even those we think are our enemies. And when things do go wrong, help us to build bridges to make things right again. We thank you that you are always ready to help us do this. In your name we pray, Amen.