Evening of Emmanuel
How many times do we go through Christmas simply following holiday traditions without understanding or acknowledging the purpose behind it? Instead of a traditional Christmas party, the Cornerstone college ministry chose to take a step back from western holiday rituals and focus on the fundamental purpose of Christmas.
Over 60 students, including several international students, attended what they called “Evening of Emmanuel.” Throughout this evening, student leaders helped walk through and explain the biblical prophecies from the Old Testament leading up to the birth of Christ fulfilled in the New Testament while incorporating worship and communion during the evening. Some of the prophecies explained how the Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah and from the line of Abraham. The evening led up to the final prophecies that the Messiah would be called Emmanuel (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23) and that the Messiah's throne will be anointed and eternal (Psalm 45:6-7, Daniel 2:44, Luke 1:33, Hebrews 1:8-12).
Since these students could not physically travel to Israel, they decided to meet on the third floor of a barn, mirroring the Passover in the upper room. They also integrated some Israeli cuisine like pita bread, hummus, and baklava.
Overall, the evening was successful. The success was not due to the number of people attended, how many Christmas sweaters worn, how many gingerbread houses created or the number of ornaments on a tree, but rather the Lord was glorified through His word.