January 26 - Ephesians 4:7-13
BROTHERS AND SISTERS, each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said, “When He ascended on high, He made captivity itself a captive. He gave gifts to his people” (Psalm 68:18). When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that He had also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He Who descended is the same One Who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things. The gifts He gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
Just a few verses before this excerpt, Saint Paul says, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is above all and through all and in all" (Ephesians 4:4-6). In these verses Paul says that all Christians are one united whole. In God there is no separation and division, hence there can be no separation and division among us (if there is, then we are not in God, we are somewhere else, floating on our own).
But then in the reading we get for Sunday, Saint Paul says that, even though we are one, we are different. Just like each member of a human body is different, yet still of the same body. This, of course, makes sense. The Christian Church is not a factory of one-style robots. Each person is unique, each person possesses a set of gifts that are provided to us by God and that will aid us in our journey of salvation towards Christ.
Everyone has a purpose in the Church of Christ, and everyone's gift is "for building up the body of Christ." Some of us are good servers, some - good leaders, others - good followers. Figuring out my gift and using it for the glory of Christ and for the benefit of my brothers and sisters, is not the easiest task. But it is a task, that once figured out, will help us make sense of life, it will help us mature.
Yours in the Lord,