You may be wondering what the title has to do with this particular bridge. The bridge was built in 1853 with much opposition. The residents on both sides of the water did not want a bridge simply because the river separated to groups of people who hated each other. At that time there was Looe which was situated on the East bank of the river and Port Bigham on the West. Looe was the larger but poorer community but had the sunshine whereas Port Bigham was more wealthy but was largely in the shade.
It may be of interest to you to discover that I learned this vital information at the regular Male Voice Choir concert in the Lifeboat Station. Tonight's guest choir was the Polperro Fishermen's Choir who were excellent and well worth going to hear.
Local choirs are an excellent way of learning something of the history of the locality and tonight's concert was in no way an exception. As the MC was telling of the meaning and reason for one particular song he was telling of the hatred that there was between the Eastern and Western communities. This caused my mind to wander to issues in the world with the problems in Israel and Palestine etc. There is clear hatred from one side to the other but can there be a uniting factor???
For Looe that is where the bridge came in!
The two communities did not want it but it was exactly what they needed. The stone was brought down from the moor and the authorities in spite of violent protest built the bridge and the two communities became linked and eventually became one town.
There are still issues between East and West, the West is wealthier and the East is poorer but it does still have the sunshine. The acrimony is gone because a bridge was built. The town is now Looe East and West one people paying taxes to one authority simply because they have been joined together by a bridge. How amazing is that!!
It makes me wonder what bridge is required to bring warring factions together.
Choirs performing at the lifeboat station are a reminder to me that the summer season has begun but there was also another reminder to me this morning as I walked along the prom. The holiday makers were starting to take up their places on the beach, deck chairs placed and the very British windbreaks corralling families into their own sacred space.
This was only part of the reminder it was a particular group of people on the beach that caught my interest. They come to Looe faithfully for 3 weeks every year with a specific purpose.
Their purpose is to build a bridge. The bridge is the gospel and so this group of Christian volunteers give of their holiday to try to reach families with the good news that changes an important relationship.
Due to our sin we are on the wrong side of a divide with God. the bible actually tells us that we are all enemies of God and that the situation cannot be changed. We are separated from him and our sin is odious to Him and therefore there is no way that we can do anything about it.
But just as the authorities made a bridge to unite Looe God has done all that is necessary for the gulf between us and Him to be bridged. For this to be accomplished sin had to be dealt with, God cannot turn a blind eye to it it must be punished. the appropriate punishment for sinners is eternal death. The bridge is a sacrifice made in order to pay the price, naturally there is no one good enough to do this and so God Himself stepped in. The Lord Jesus Christ who is God the Son became a man but was without sin and so He was able to pay the price by dying in the place of all who will trust Him and turn away from sin and to trust God for salvation.
The beach team are here to declare the truth that the Lord Jesus Christ is the bridge that we need to become united to God.