Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Ice Palace

By David A. Sargent

    How do you bolster a sagging economy?  This was the question facing the citizens of Leadville , Colorado , in 1895.  The town was in the doldrums; the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1893 had ended its glory days as a silver-mining center.
    In an effort to keep their city ALIVE, the citizens staged a winter carnival...
They proposed a mammoth ice castle to draw sightseers, create jobs and rescue the town’s economy.  According to the Legends of America website: “Construction began November 1, 1895 with a crew of 250 men working day and night. Day laborers were paid $2.50 per day and skilled laborers were paid $3.00 per day. The palace was more than 58,000 square feet – 325 x 180 feet, utilizing 180,000 board feet of lumber and 5,000 tons of ice. The palace was supported by a complex framework of trusses, girders and timber, with the ice for appearance only. The ice was trimmed to size and placed in forms, then sprayed with water, which served as mortar to bind the blocks together. The towers reached 90 feet high by 40 feet wide and the palace encompassed 5 acres of ground.” The crystal palace housed a ballroom, a 180-foot skating rink, a curling rink, a restaurant, a dance floor, gaming rooms, a theater, toboggan runs and a carousel house.
    The Ice Palace was opened on January 1, 1896.  For three months, the Palace entertained more than 250,000 visitors until an early thaw in mid-March.  Despite these numerous visitors, the Ice Palace was a financial disaster for the town.
    The town that put its hope in an ice palace saw that hope "MELT AWAY."
    No more Ice Palaces were ever built in Leadville!
    In what are we placing OUR hope? Like the fabulous Ice Palace, we understand from the Scriptures that this WORLD with its powers and values is PASSING AWAY (see 1 John 2:15-17).
    The ONLY hope that is LASTING is that which is placed in Christ.  It is a “living hope” that will NEVER fade, because Jesus is alive!  God loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins (John 3:16).  Our hope was made sure when Jesus rose from the dead! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a “living hope” through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
    We have hope in Christ when we respond to Him: in faith (Acts 16:30-31), turning from our sins in repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), confessing Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) in His name for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  We may CONTINUE to enjoy this hope as we CONTINUE to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
The Ice Palace presents a challenge: Are WE expending our time and energy on things that will soon "melt" away?
    “The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who DOES the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).
    Won’t YOU do the will of God?

David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website:

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