Me: Paul, recently I heard you say there’s only one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, and yet we children of God don’t always act like that’s true. How can this change? What do we do?
The Apostle Paul: Each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Me: Yes, we’re different and have different ways of doing things, but sometimes that seems to make misunderstandings and ill feelings get in our way.
Paul: That’s why the Bible says Jesus ascended into heaven and captured captivity.
Me: Wow! Jesus imprisoned prisons. He bound up whatever binds us. He confined whatever confines us. He….
Paul: He gave gifts to His people. So some of us are apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers.
Me: It’s wonderful how God gives each of us exactly what we need to do the work God gave us to do! Now, if we’d just respect those differences and appreciate one another more.
Paul, nodding: Each gift equips each saint for a unique work of ministry to build up the Body of Christ (the Church) so we can all be united in the faith and knowledge of the Son of God as we grow and mature into the full standing of Christ.
Me: Hmm. Sounds like God wants us to grow up! And grow into the Spirit of Christ.
Paul, nodding his head again: We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro or blown about by every wind of doctrine or by people’s trickery or by craftiness and deceitful schemes.
Me: But, oh, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s what! So I pray for God to help us become more discerning and loving too.
Paul: As we speak the truth in love, we grow up in every way into Christ, Who is the head of the whole body, joined and knitted together by each ligament, so each part is equipped to work properly, promote body growth, and build up the whole Church Body of Christ in love.
Me: Amen! And may God keep on reminding us to keep on praying for spiritual growth, discernment, love, and unity in the Body of Christ in Jesus’ Name.
©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, prayer-a-phrased conversation with the Apostle Paul drawn from today’s Bible reading in Ephesians 4:7-8, 4:11-16