What did Zoroastrian priests, an Egyptian family, a woman called “dog”, and a lil’ ole crook of a man have to say to Jesus back then?
And what do they have to say to American Christians today?
the We Say Merry Christmas Collection
Samir Selmanovic - Writer
When I became a Christian thirty years ago I found myself without a home. I was disowned by my family on one hand and soul-crushed by the state of the church on the other. I would ask myself a question: “Why in the world am I a Christian?!” (the actual words were far more, shall I say, unholy)
I would pull out a clean piece of paper and write separation from my family, manipulation and oppression by the church, and resulting unbearable loneliness all in the left column. Then I would put life and teachings of Jesus in the other column. And each time, no contest. The way Jesus saw the world, experienced life (and death), and loved everything and everybody he encountered was more than enough for me.
I even got my family back, helped build a life-giving church community I belong to today, and now crave more aloneness than I have.
This holiday season I want to say “Merry Christmas” again and celebrate it by remembering the real Jesus in a real way. Biblical stories like these four sustained me over the years, gently healing my own propensity to exclude "the other" and bringing me back to the open Christian journey.
I envision these cards, beautifully and playfully illustrated by David Hayward, sent to Christians by Christians as well as by and to those who are not. It does not matter. For Jesus, it was never about Christianity. It was all about all of us, together, learning to love and live well as human beings.
ALL proceeds go to Common Good Christians. To celebrate Christmas subversively and joyfully, while doing good in the world, order today. Thank you!
- Samir Selmanovic
David Hayward - THE ARTIST
The Naked Pastor: a graffiti artist on the walls of religion
I was baptized Anglican as a baby, came to faith in a Baptist church when I was a teenager, changed to Pentecostal in my late teens, married another Pentecostal named Lisa, was ordained Presbyterian, pastored a Vineyard church, went Independent, and planted others.
In 2010 I left the professional paid clergy after almost 30 years of ministry. I am passionate about how people can find and follow their own spiritual path with courage and joy, as well as in how people can freely gather and form community in healthy ways.I help people deconstruct without the self-destruct. I help people lose their faith without losing their minds. I help people undress their religion to the core essential of their own unique spirituality. I call this spiritual independence.
- David Hayward / The Naked Pastor