As a kid I remember wondering how tall I would be if I grew into "the full stature of Christ"—there was that window in the education wing of the church that said it was so. I've since come to appreciate the depth of this verse: "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" (v.13). Unity of the faith. Reconciled to God and to one another through Jesus Christ.
Unity coupled with diversity. Diversity of the gifts of God—"apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry" (v. 11b--12a).
God has created each one of us—a unique individual with particular gifts for a vocation to which God has called us to be at work in God's world. One and one and one and one. Together we are building up the body of Christ; together we are Christ's church.
God of diverse gifts, draw out of us the gifts you have given that we may faithfully answer your call. Amen.
Ephesians 4:1-16 (NRSV)
1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift.
8 Therefore it is said, "When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people."
9 (When it says, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.)
11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
13 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.
14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.
15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's growth in building itself up in love.