Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott


April 1, 2008

Dear Friend,

Years ago, poet T.S. Eliot made famous the phrase, “the still point of the turning world.” I remember a poster from the days of the Jesus Movement, of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, that adapted Eliot’s phrase by saying, “HE is the still point of the turning world.”

I knew little of T.S. Eliot, but I had been introduced to Jesus and knew immediately the importance of the poster’s message.

It came back to mind recently while reading about the rather violent storm and ultimate ship wreck that the Apostle Paul experienced as described in Acts 27.

What is striking is Paul’s calmness in the midst of the storm. At one point, when the crew is in crisis, he says to them, “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we will have to run aground on some island.” Acts 27:25-26*

Paul’s words are reminiscent of the words of Jesus to his disciples in the midst of a storm. “And they went and woke him up, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’” Matthew 8:25-26a.

At times our lives feel rather turbulent and our inclination is to react like the crew on Paul’s ship or the disciples in the boat with Jesus. Yet Jesus indeed is the still point in our turning world.

Whatever is turning in your world, turn to Jesus who says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe* in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1

With joy - E. Stanley Ott