This is what the billboard up on the side of Southwark tube station asks passers by.
The question invites us to take our seat as 21st century surveyors of history, to take out a ruler and fold THE line on the pages of history. It’s a heady thought- to pronounce the turning point of time! We could think on a world scale: perhaps the end of WWII, 9/11, maybe a great invention. Our thoughts might turn to our individual history: the joy of someone who came into our life or the sadness of that defining moment which changed our personal world forever.
How would you answer? It’s a provoking question that reveals what matters most to us and our communities. Where would the people of Southwark put the crease?
And yet there’s something in the question that makes me pause.
It reminds me that we don’t get to put the definitive fold in history. While we may write the history books, we’re not the authors of history itself. We do and achieve all sorts of things and in that way write our history. But then again, there are a million factors outside of our control that are defining our every move. To be the one who gets to put THE crease in history, to declare which moment defines all other moments, is to be the one who fully sees and controls all history.
God the creator of history can fold history. And what he says is the defining moment is the final answer to our question. So, where has he put the crease?
This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.