Restore to me the joy of your salvation. (Ps. 51:12)

For almost a century Williamsburg was the seat of government for the colony of Virginia. America’s second-oldest college, William and Mary, was established there, and the capitol building at the end of magnificent Duke of Gloucester Street rang with speeches by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, calling for independence from Great Britain. Every inch of ground in Williamsburg was rich in history, but when legislators looked for a more centrally located base of operations during the Revolutionary War, Richmond replaced it as “first city of the commonwealth.” Williamsburg’s historic district slipped into decline, losing priceless heritage to parking lots and gas stations.

In the 1920s, a minister in the area suggested to John D. Rockefeller Jr., that he fund the restoration of the site as it was in the eighteenth century, and the splendid three hundred plus homes and buildings of “Colonial Williamsburg” are the result. A page in American history has been recovered, and a lost legacy has been reclaimed.

You and I are restoration projects too. According to Scripture, we were rather dilapidated when God started work on us. The decline and decay caused by sin was extensive, but his love is intensive. Brick by forgiving brick, he rebuilds us as spiritual temples to his glory.

The motto of Colonial Williamsburg is, “That the future may learn from the past.” And all God’s restored people say, “Amen.”

Let the Carpenter of Nazareth restore what sin destroyed.

Bob Black is professor emeritus of religion at Southern Wesleyan University, where he served for thirty-two years. He co-authored the denominational history, The Story of The Wesleyan Church.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.