Matthew was a road-maker. In those days, before specialization, he was also required to build the bridges over minor rivers and streams. His children, playing with their Dinky cars, were careful to observe the rules when making their own roads, building bridges over streams scooped out in the garden beds and filled with water from the tap.
Through the passing years, visiting family farms, bridge building over the streams became a more serious occupation. It was their means of exploring the primeval land without recourse to the modern road. (Adventurers mapping unknown lands knew no such amenities as roads.) If there were no fallen branches nearby they ‘borrowed’ a plank from the pile beside the shed. After all, it had started out as a branch or a trunk, and would have to do.
In the remote areas of the ‘real world’ there were many bridges made of planks. They clunk-clunked when crossed by cart or car, clopped under horse’s hooves. Age and storm weakened the timbers. Occasionally floods washed them away. Through the gaps pedestrians could see the silver waters or the swelling tide. Children looked for trolls.
Rope and wood, steel and stone, bridges span the waters of the world. Utilitarian or beautiful, romantic and renowned, they lure us to the middle; entice us to cross to the other side.
The great Master Bridge-builder reached down to place a bridge that spanned the earth from north to south, reached across from east to west, and called all men to come to Him.
Men nailed the Son of God to the center of the bridge, stood it high upon a hill. A prophet said, “He had no beauty that men should desire him,” but Jesus said, “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to Me.”
Men come to the cross to stare and scoff.
Some come with broken heart to weep.
Those who come to the ‘bridge of God,’
The Saviour has promised to keep.
“It is finished,” He cried with bended head,
“My spirit is in your hand.”
He offered His Father the gift of His blood:
“Come to Me.” Is still His command.
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