QUICK HIT: Focusing on the rather eclectic thought of “seatedness,” Heather Holleman implores readers to avoid the culture of comparison and instead remain firm and Seated with Christ. Throughout the book, Holleman focuses on not being focused on the world and its vision of you but focused on Christ and his view of you.
Seated with Christ. It’s a strange term, somewhat oblique, somewhat opaque, somewhat obscure, but it perfectly captures our spiritual and social status in this life. Most Christians claim Christ, but aren’t seated with him. Most Christians are overstressed and overworked and overtired, but won’t take their seat at the table. So what is being Seated with Christ and how do we take our place beside the Savior?
I didn’t know what to expect when I dove into Heather Holleman’s book, subtitled “Living Freely in a Culture of Comparison.” The subtitle I understood, the title—even with my seminary education, I couldn’t quite pinpoint where she was going with it. Turns out she was going far deeper than my own thoughts had ever gone, and she’s drug me down with her complete and contemplated my seatedness.
Seriously, the more I consider the phrase, the more perfect of a phrase it actually is. The first couple of chapters define the issue of seatedness. Ephesians 2:6 reads:
“God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”
I felt like everything I did—all the activity, the writing, serving, speaking, studying—was about something other than Jesus. My life was more about me than him…I was not living as one who had a seat at the table. I lived as one fighting for a seat at the table.
Seatedness is, at its core, assurance and rest and security and intimacy. To be seated with Christ is to have everything you need. Yet we seek out other tables. Tables of education or beauty or social status or perfect parenthood or sports or so on. Often, we bear scars from the tables at which we never sat.
Holleman’s third chapter covers this topic in a brutally real fashion.
Many people can recall—with precise detail—the places they never sat. Whether it was the popular table in seventh grade or the executive boardroom in adulthood, metaphorical tables with limited seating burn in our imagination.
But here’s the truth: That seat you never sat in does not define you if you are seated at the table of God. The middle part of the book tackles the realities of such seatedness: moving from appearance to adoration, from affluence to access, from achievement to abiding. Addressing these practical areas help us inch closer an d closer to becoming seated in our own lives.
Finally, the last part deals with the realities of such seatedness and the challenges and opportunities we will face. It’s a well-written and balanced look at living with Christ, recounting both the blessings and the challenges to which we are called.
Seated with Christ is my a surprise must-read. Impeccably written and theologically strong, Holleman captured me with her thoughts and words until the very last page.