On 18th December, Zhejiang Theological Seminary held its annual Christmas celebration activities, including Dormitory Open Day in the afternoon, Christmas worship and Christmas gala in the evening. All students and faculty members participated in the activities to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus. Meanwhile, they were also eager to see His Second Coming.
At 12:45 a.m., leaders and teachers of the seminary attended the dormitory open activities and sent Christmas greetings and blessings to the students. Students not only tidied up their rooms, but also prepared refreshments, drinks and fun games like sports games, lucky draws and gift-giving. On one hand, the annual Dormitory Open Day can facilitate communication among students. On the other hand, it also helped deepen understanding and interaction between teachers and students by allowing school leaders and teachers to better know students’ daily life and living conditions.
At 18:50, the Christmas worship started with the singing led by four students. The seminary’s Holy Choir sang the hymns 'Welcome Christ' and 'Christmas Carol'. The beautiful voice won thunderous applause from the audience. Rev. Pan Xingwang, president of the seminary delivered a Christmas speech to all students and faculty members. He urged them to know the will of God, convey the message from God and become the angels of God as well as the prophets of the era. Rev. Zheng Rongda shared verses from Luke 2:8-16 with the theme ‘No More Fears’ from the perspectives of ‘Great good news’, ‘Clear instructions’ and ‘Long-lost peace’.
Afterwards, the Christmas gala kicked off. Many church members from Binjiang Truth Church also came to attend the service. Together with teachers and students, they attended the worship and watched wonderful performances such as dances and mimes. The joy of Christmas has arrived early.
On the afternoon of 20th December, 2018, Nanjing Union Theological Seminary held a Christmas Celebration to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Chen Yilu, vice president of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary delivered an opening speech. The celebration started with the singing of ‘Joyful Tiding Bring One and All’, followed by the hymn ‘Word Becomes Flesh’ performed by Joyful Worship Choir and the singing of ‘The Bells of Christmas’. The beautiful voice of Sister Ge Xiao’ou, a solo vocalist who performed ‘O Holy Night’, hovered above the hall and touched the heart of everyone. Other vocal programs included a male quartet ‘Go Tell it on the Mountain’ and a semichorus ‘Merry Christmas’. There was also a dancing show called ‘I Wait for the Lord’ by sisters who gave a vivid performance. In the end, Conductor Ma Guofu conducted the Choir to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘The Glory of the Lord’ in chorus.
The Christmas Celebration lasted for one and a half hours. When it was towards the end, Rev. Chen Yilu invited Rev. Zhao Zhi’en, a 90-year-old emeritus Professor, to walk onto the stage and give blessing to the whole audience.
On 23rd December, Rev. Chen Bin, vice president of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, sent greetings to the audience, thus starting the Christmas worship. The Holy Choir sang ‘Promise Falls upon’ and ‘The Glory of the Lord’. Rev. Tang Yongquan cited the verses from Isaiah 7:23 and Matthew 1: 19-23 and gave a sermon with the title ‘Immanuel’. He gave a detailed explanation on what Immanuel is and the meaning of Immanuel with understandable words. Rev. Chen also held a commissioning service at the end of the service.
On 24th December, the annual Christmas Eve gala was held on the square of the seminary.
Students and faculty members from Henan Theological Seminary had a joyous and peaceful Christmas celebration on 24th and 25th December, 2018.
On the morning of 24th December, Rev. Xu Chunlin gave a sermon on the topic ‘The Meaning of Christmas’. In the evening, the seminary held a Christmas Eve Thanksgiving and Praise Meeting with the theme ‘On Peaceful Christmas Eve, Sing in the New Era’. Rev. Hu Junjie, vice president of Henan Theological Seminary prayed for the meeting, and Rev. Tang Weimin, president of the seminary delivered a speech. Rev. Tang mentioned that it is the Lord Jesus who brings renewal, love and peace to all mankind on Christmas Eve.
Theological students prepared a number of shows to celebrate Christmas, including singing in chorus, reading poetries, singing with dance, playing Holy Drama and so forth.
On the morning of 25th December, Rev. Jin Xinyuan, dean assistant of the seminary preached a sermon with the title ‘the Birth of Jesus in an Earthshaking Way’ in the Christmas worship. Afterwards, theological students and church members performed dances and songs related to the birth of Jesus.
During Christmas, the seminary also held a painting and calligraphy exhibition. Church members living nearby also came to celebrate Christmas together.
On the evening of 24th December, 2018, nearly 40 theological students from Zhongnan Theological Seminary attended a prayer meeting led by Li Xiaohao, a junior student. They gathered in the conference room on the second floor and prayed for the activities carried out on Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Brothers and sisters were filled with joy and happiness in celebrating the birth of the Lord our savior. This very special day calls for more prayers. In his sharing, Li Xiaohao mentioned that it was his third year praying for Christmas in the seminary and that he felt very sweet and pleasant.
We hope that through God’s guidance, the preachers trained by Zhongnan Theological Seminary would all be patriotic and church-loving, and would contribute to building a harmonious society in the new era.