Recently I was blessed to be able to visit The Berkley Plantation in Virginia. It is a beautiful plantation house on the James River that was built in 1726. Yet what spoke to me was the amazing history of this house. In its 292 year history it has been vacant twice for periods of time of I  believe 75 and 90 years. As you can imagine during those time periods the house was neglected which left it looking as if it should be demolished.  There is actually a picture in the house of how  Berkley looked before it was restored by Malcolm and Grace Jamieson. It is clearly one of those examples of the beauty of a before and after picture.

The spiritual application this beautiful house reminded me of was how God not only redeems us but how he also restores us. He takes us with all our sins and makes us as new creations. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 it says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”

Wow. Berkley Plantation reminded me of the difference between the old (decaying sinful self) versus what can happen through God’s reconciliation and restoration (God’s grace and mercy). I am so thankful that God loves us to redeem us and yet His love never leaves us as He finds us.  He creates in us a new creation. In this New Year let’s praise God for restoration and creating something new! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Pastor Bryan