Finding the Way Back to Mayberry

Episode # 80, "High Noon in Mayberry"

Introduction:  Luke Comstock, an ex-con, returns to Mayberry to see Andy about shooting him in the leg during a robbery years ago, which crippled him and sent him to prison.  Barney is convinced that Comstock is seeking revenge,  so he overreacts a  little.  Barney’s  paranoia then  spreads to Gomer, Otis, Aunt Bee, and Opie .  Along with faith and courage, this episode also looks at repentance and forgiveness.

Lesson Points/Questions:
Worry or Faith? – Psalm 23:1-6, Matthew 6:27 and 17:20
     What do You Worry About? –  problems: Job 5:19-27, failure: Ps. 145:14,  change: Ps. 102:24-27,
uncertainty: Pr. 8:22-36 and 29:8, future: Mt.6:25-34, past: Is. 43:25, pain: Jer. 31:25, death:
             Jn. 5:24 and 11:25-26,  grief: Is. 61:3, 2 Co. 1:4-7,  crime: Jn. 3:19-21,  separation: Is. 40:11,
             lost chances: Pr. 16:3,  any, all, or none of the above: Php. 4:13 and 4:6-7, 1 Pe. 5:7
     How Can You Trade Worry for Safeguarding? – Psalm 27:1
     When Do You Turn Over Your Worries to God? – 1 Chronicles 22:13

Fear or Courage? – Joshua 1:7-9, Hebrews 13:6
     Can Fear Be a Good Thing? – 2 Timothy 1:7, Luke 12:4-5, John 10:10
     When Is Fear Bad? – 2 Chronicles 32:7-8, Genesis 3:8-10, Revelation 21:7-8 
     Does Being Afraid Mean You Are A Coward? – Philippians 1:20, Proverbs 28:1
     Does Courage Always Seem Courageous? – Hebrews 3:6

Revenge or Forgiveness? – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
     Which Should You Choose? – Isaiah 35:3-4
     Do You Get Mad, Or Get Even? / Do You Forgive, But Never Forget? – Romans 12:17-20
     Or Do You Turn The Other Cheek? – Matthew 5:38-41, 1 John 4:18

1) Andy was concerned when he read Luke Comstock’s letter, but Barney immediately chose to believe that Luke had revenge on his mind.  Why would Barney jump to that conclusion?  Why did Andy refuse Barney’s advice?    Why did Andy start to load his revolver, and then put it away instead?

2) For whom was Otis actually afraid? Were his fears justified?  Was Barney just as scared as Otis?  Was Andy just as scared as Barney?  Explain the difference in their reactions.  Why did Barney, Otis and Andy react in the ways they did?  Discuss differences and similarities in worry, anxiety, fear, panic, and phobias.

3) Aunt Bee surely understood that there were dangers involved with Andy’s occupation, even if it is in Mayberry, but why did she begin to worry this time?  Why did Opie become concerned?  How did Andy answer Opie’s questions about fear?  Was it good for Opie to know his father was ever frightened?  How can you be fearful and courageous at the same time? 

4) If you haven’t already, answer for yourself the questions posed in the Lesson Points section.  Luke Comstock had made a mistake, and he had to pay a price for it.  Do you think, at that time in his life, that he was fearful or courageous?  What about coming back to Mayberry?  Do you think he ever felt sorry for himself?  Why do you suppose that Luke didn’t just call Andy and thank him or mail the shotgun to Andy?

Final Thoughts:
Opie:  Are you scared, Pa?  Andy:  Well, I am a little nervous.  Opie:  Is this your first time?  Andy: No, I’ve been scared a whole lot of times.  Opie:  Really, Pa?  Gosh, you sure couldn’t tell it.
Luke Comstock
:  I had a chance to review my whole life – when I was a boy to where I was lying with my leg game for life.  All I could think was “what a waste.”  So I made up my mind then and there.  I was going to make something out of myself, Sheriff.  I began reading and studying while I was in the hospital … If you hadn’t laid me up, who knows where I’d be today?