First, Jesus-followers receive gifts. Of course, we receive the ultimate gift of grace, salvation, and forgiveness. But here, Paul mentions that there are other gifts: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Cool.
Second, the fourth chapter gives Jesus-followers a SHOUT to unify.
You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, on god and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. (v4-6)So this concept is more than I can tackle right now in a few short words, but we - the Jesus-followers of today - fall pretty short on this one. I wish you'd join me in daily prayers for unity. I wonder what other steps we can take right now - to get our butts in gear working together as one body. More to come on this topic, I'm sure.
Third, this chapter calls us to grow. And keep growing. Becoming more like Christ means that I must make a constant love-effort. Love God. Love people. Speak truth in love.
A Prayer: God, thank you for the gifts you have given to us through your spirit and made possible by your son Jesus. Help me to recognize these gifts - to discover how you made me ... how I'm wired. Keep growing me up to be more and more like you - I'm too distant right now. I want to come closer. Help us all to come closer - closer to you and to each other - that we would put down our walls and unify. That we would be "alert at noticing differences and quick and mending fences." So be it.