Matney: A Redstone get-away
Happy Easter! Christ is Risen! Romans 6:4 says, “Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, we too may live a new life.” For our family, getting away to Redstone represents the beauty and joy of life in Christ. Let me explain.
I’m sure many of our readers have had the joy of visiting the tiny little village of Redstone, Colorado. Located in the Crystal River Valley, south of Glenwood Springs, it holds many special memories for my family from the numerous times we’ve visited there over the years.
One of the jewels in Redstone is the Church At Redstone. It sits on the banks of the Crystal River and features large stained glass windows depicting pines and aspens and other scenes of nature. I had the privilege of singing in the church and one of the songs I sang was “All Across the Sky” by Michael W. Smith. It is so appropriate for the lovely setting. Some of the lyrics are:
How can I believe in a God I cannot see?
If I could only see, then I’d believe.
If you could only see that….
His love is written all across the sky
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As brilliantly the stars all testify,
For the glory of the God who reigns on high.
All creation seems to shout and sing
In wonder of the one Almighty King.
Under the towering red stone cliffs and beautiful pines, God’s handiwork in nature is easily seen in Redstone. The Crystal River, as its name implies, sparkles like a crystal under the sun as it meanders through meadows and mountains and cascades over giant stones of white marble cut from the quarries in nearby Marble. Redstone is a peaceful place, a place of rest and beauty. And such is new life in Christ.
Another jewel in Redstone is the Redstone Inn. Known as the Ruby of the Rockies, the Redstone Inn was constructed in 1902, and both the inn and village are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Several years ago, some of our church leaders made reservations for Bilinda and me to enjoy a few days away at the historic Redstone Inn. And here’s the beauty of it: Bilinda and I did not have to do anything but to believe in our good fortune, check-in, and enjoy several days of rest.
Friend, in a similar manner, God has already made a reservation for you in an amazing place. It is the heavenly Mt. Zion, the Holy City, New Jerusalem, and the River of Life runs through it. The apostle John describes it in Revelation 21 as a bride beautifully adorned with jewels. In Revelation 21:11, John wrote, “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, clear as crystal.”
Our reservation at the Redstone Inn didn’t cost Bilinda and me. Our church leaders had already paid the costs. In the same way, your reservation in the New Jerusalem has been paid for by Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. All you need to do is believe God’s good intentions toward you and say “yes” to Jesus and start enjoying the new life that he paid for.
Heaven is not just pie in the sky in the sweet by and by, we can start enjoying heaven on Earth in the here and now. As a part of our Redstone getaway, Bilinda and I walked up and down the main street of the town and in and out of the little shops, restaurants, and other places of business. We were enjoying the sights and sounds and smells of the shops and resting our minds and hearts. We were enjoying each other and the world around us.
Redstone is a picture of the rest and beauty God has for us now and in the world to come. The experience starts by believing God’s good intentions and saying “yes” to him moment by moment, one choice at a time. Each right choice reinforces another one and soon you’ll begin to feel new hope and faith and new depths of love and heights of honor.
And just as the Redstone Inn is called the Ruby of the Rockies, God calls us his jewels. In Malachi 3:16 and 17, God said that those who honored him would be his treasured possession on the day he gathers his jewels. Like a jeweler who creates unique designs with precious stones, God has crafted each of us to be a one-of-a-kind, exquisite display of his love and goodness. Ephesians 2:10 says, “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Our greatest joy will be in fulfilling God’s purpose and plan for our lives. Today, let us stop resisting and start resting in our new life in Christ Jesus.
Dan Matney is the pastor at New Life Assembly of God in Avon. Email him at email@example.com.