Why was it that finding a seat in the lunchroom was one of those monumental moments, not only in books or hollywood, but also in reality?
We all want a place to belong. A place that gives us importance and recognition. A place to come before others and feel fully loved and fully known. Because anything less would be judgement or shallowness. But I see myself and others continuing to do what it takes to be in that belonging place. We’ll do whatever it takes to have a seat at the table.
Growing up this was very prevalent in my life and it didn’t always take place at the lunch table. It was in most aspects of my life, I was trying to find a seat in other places too. It was mostly identity and how people perceived me. Growing up being one of the only ethnic minorities in my neighborhood and school, I developed something inside of me that strived to “prove myself” that I belonged regardless of what I looked like. Whether it was the table of popularity, the table of varsity sports, the table of having a hot boyfriend, the table of making everyone laugh, you name it, I wanted a spot there and for it to be known to anyone and all.
I went from death to life beginning in college and although I’ve learned more of the reality of being alive and free in Christ, the tables where I want my seat have only shifted as time has gone by. The most prevalent tables in my life currently that I’m looking for a seat at are “the good wife table” (as I’m preparing to be married in a couple of months) and “the fruitful Christian missionary table” as I’m also preparing to step into full time ministry reaching college students.
The last year or so, I’ve been challenged and feel the Lord put the question in my heart – do I truly believe that I have a place and that God fully accepts me? It feels elementary at times, but as I look at the way I live my life, I see more how I believe that I need to fight for my seat.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2: 5-7 (emphasis added)
We are seated in the heavenly realms. Did you catch that? We are seated. Past tense. In the heavenly realms. It suggests something that has already happened and in the verb seated, you can feel safe, rest, and relaxation. This is humbling when I think about Paul writing about being seated in Christ while he was in prison
Why is it significant to know we are seated in Christ? Back then, Jewish priests were not allowed to sit down. I believe Charles Spurgeon delivers this answer beautifully and profoundly:
“The priests stood because there was work to do; still must they present their sacrifices; but our Lord sits down because there is no more sacrificial work to do; atonement is complete, he has finished his task.”
Jesus sat down. And if you are a follower and believer in Christ Jesus, this is your posture, too.
Spurgeon ends his sermon in this mic-drop way: “Our justifying work is finished, finished by Christ. Sit down Christian, sit down and rest in thy Lord.”
Although I’m in the struggle to sit down right now, I’m learning and asking God to be convinced that I no longer need to fight for my seat and prove my worth. By grace through faith, I have been covered by Jesus’ worth and already have the most important and best seat. So you do, too, as a fellow believer. .