7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Jesus ascends to heaven and gives gifts to us to build up the body. So that we can mature and be stable and secure in our faith. Thank you Lord for these gifts, we pray for our prophets, evangelists, apostles, pastors and teachers today. We thank you that you do not leave us to figure things out and be tossed around by people claiming to know a different truth. This morning I pray for church leaders around the world. May they know what you have called them for, may they be strengthened in their gifts so that they can continue to build your body. May they know that your body is one and that maturity means unity? We pray for a church that is secure as we attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.