The Most Important Historical Event.
What was the most important historical event?
I was watching a lecture by now deceased Justice Antonin Scalia. He was describing his final examination when he was studying history at Georgetown university.
The future judge of the United States supreme court was doing quite well. He was answering all the questions that were put before him. The session was drawing to a close and the examiner asked one final question of Scalia. The examiner asked, “What do you think was the most important event in history.”
Scalia began by responding with major historical events like the battle at Thermopylae, or the crossing of the Rubicon by Cesar, and other such events.
“No,” said the professor. “The most important historical event was the incarnation.” Antonin Scalia was struck by this response. It never crossed his mind to answer in this way. But after some reflection he saw the truth in seeing the incarnation in history as the most important event that has ever taken place.
It is so important I see the incarnation in this way. Tom Holland in the New Statesmen would point out that “It took me along time to realize that my morals are not Greek or Roman, but thoroughly and proudly Christian. So much of the West is founded upon Jesus Christ who passes Himself forward through His Church.
But more than values, or a new society, we all received a new relationship to God through the incarnation. The Word of God became flesh, and chose to dwell among us, so that we may come to know God, and that we may be reconciled back to the Father.
This is not just piety. It was a historical event unlike any other. It changed history. It changed people. It changes us.