For thousands of years, men have made bridges so that they can go across rivers without using a boat. The simplest bridge is the trunk of a tree put across a small river or stream. It is easy to make, but we must be careful as we walk on it so that we do not fall into the water!
Very old bridges
In Greece, the Arkadiko Bridge was built more than 3000 years ago, and people can still walk over it. It is probably the oldest arch bridge in the world. 2000 years ago, the Romans built stone bridges with arches to cross wide rivers. Some are still used today. Bridges made from iron chains and bamboo were built in India from about AD 300. If a river is wide, it is hard to make a bridge that is safe for people to use.
In the last 200 years, people have made many wonderful bridges. They use materials like iron, steel and concrete. These bridges are so strong that thousands of cars and heavy trucks can use them every day. Bridges often need to be high above the water, so that boats can pass underneath.
Confederation Bridge in Canada
There are also bridges over narrow parts of the sea, so that people can go from islands to the mainland of a country. The Confederation Bridge in Canada was finished in 1997. It is a very big bridge with a wide road on it, joining Prince Edward Island to the area of Canada called New Brunswick. The bridge is 12.9 kilometers long and it takes a car 10 minutes to cross it. Confederation Bridge is so big that it took three and a half years to build. Today the people living on Prince Edward Island do not need a boat to get to the mainland of Canada. They are no longer separated from their own country.
To think about …
We are separated from God, just as the people living on Prince Edward Island were separated from the mainland of Canada. The Christians' holy book, the Bible, tells us that it is our wrong-doings (sins) that have separated us from God. It is as though a bridge between us and God has been broken by our sins, so we cannot get near to him. There is nothing we can do to mend this bridge.
But God sent Jesus Christ into the world. Even though he did nothing wrong, people killed Jesus as a criminal. When he died, he took the punishment that we should have had for all of our wrong-doings. In this way, he mended the 'bridge' between us and God.
He will forgive us for all we have done wrong, if we tell him we are sorry. We will never be alone again because God has promised to be with us for ever. He can help us every day of our lives.