What we believe
crosses and gorse“Nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change.” (Douglas Adams)
Jesus challenges people. He tells us that the real way to be fulfilled is to put ourselves out for each other instead of fighting for Number One. When he was here on earth, many people didn’t like the sound of it. But he gave us a radical idea of how the world really works, and offers us direct help every day from the loving Father who made it.
So where is true and lasting fulfilment to be found? Become successful, and soon the pressure of people prying at your life makes you cave in. Become rich, and soon all the pleasure of buying something you’ve saved for is gone and you just worry about who will steal your money. Aim just to be a “good person”, and soon you wonder why you bother being good. People only take advantage of it, and after all, who said we had to be good?
Robbie Williams would agree about the money:
“I’m loaded, I can buy anything I want and everyone thinks I must have such a brilliant life, but it’s horrible.”
Then how on earth can we be satisfied inside?
Jesus pointed out what nobody else noticed, not even the religious leaders at the time! “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are–no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.” (see the whole bit from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount here in the Message translation of the Bible)
But Jesus did far more than just teach, and was far more than simply an example. He just couldn’t stand by and watch people getting things so wrong and running themselves into the ground. They were never going to earn themselves the perfection that God wants for people, so Jesus came to put things right. He shared our life, took the punishment we deserve, died in our place, and rose again, so that we could be made perfect and know God.
The truth is, God loves you so much that if you’d been the only person alive, Jesus would still have gone through that agnonising torture just to save you.
You don’t have to be perfect to get to know God. You don’t even have to be good. You just have to realise that there will be a restlessness inside until you know God, ask him to forgive you for not putting him first, and run into his arms, where you’ll find an unconditional welcome. And he’ll carry you the rest of the way and show you what real life is like.
Perfection will only come at the end when all the evil that’s making us and the rest of the world suffer now will be gone. Defeated. Isn’t that worth living for? Yes, one day he’ll make all things new!
God longs for you to know him. If you don’t have that knowledge, why not ask him to show you? He loves you far too much to turn you away.
This is at the heart of what we believe here at Lee Abbey, and it’s God’s love, God’s power and God’s call that have kept us together and focussed on his vision for almost 60 years. Lee Abbey is no ancient monastery – it’s a living international Christian community that tries to model something of what a Jesus-centred life can be like today.
That’s why our vision statement is ‘Communicating Christ Through Relationships’. We’d love you to share this experience with us!