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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Sunday, July 20, 2003
    Name your favourite rebels
    Another early start - for a Sixty Second Sermon on Radio Merseyside; and a good plug for Greenbelt, too.

    The talk was a celebration of rebels, ones with a cause, ones who follow Jesus, the ultimate rebel. So, as I spoke down the phone I primed myself for a question which might have followed: Name your favourite rebels...

    The question didn't come but if it had, I'd have said the names which strike me today include Bill Bragg, of course, plus Henri Nouwen, who gave up a top career in the training of candidates for ministry to live in a L'Arche community alongside people with severe mental handicaps, learning and growing so much in the process, and similarly Bob Holman who dropped out of academia to embark on a life of applied Social Sciences, living in the tough setting of Easterhouse, Glasgow.

    Both these rebels continue to share deep insights about their chosen lives in their writing (Nouwen posthumously, still a best-seller), and demonstrate the enormous creativity and value of a 'downward' path, a career plunge which has become for them the root of real life, the source of loving energy, fulness and fulfilment flying in the face of society's hollow expectations....