O Come, O Come Immanuel!

I recently have the honor of creating the Christmas card design for Dr. Barry Corey, the president of my alma mater, Biola University.  The goal of the project was to show how the Christmas story of Jesus's birth is relevant to our lives today. Aided by my minor in Biblical Studies that I received from Biola, I was able to tackle such a concept and translate it into visual form. The passage that I chose to focus on was Matthew 1:23 (NASB)

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child

and shall bear a Son,

and they shall call his name Immanuel.”

This verse is the announcement of Jesus’ birth to Joseph by the angels. The angles reference the prophecy of the Old Testament (Isaiah 7:14)- showing the transcendence of this message into the past.

 The name “Immanuel,” which means “God with us,” is essentially handed off to the Holy Spirit at Jesus’s ascension- “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20).  Thus the Spirit is the divine connection between Christ’s story and ours and so, transcends into the future. After a couple of concept sketches, this was the piece that I painted in oil on canvas.

After the piece was painted and scanned, I then wrote the verse in calligraphy with a dip pen and ink and meshed the two in photoshop- the vintage and that modern combined to create the image below.

This was the message that I wrote to accompany the piece on the back of the card and I hope this message finds you all well this Christmas season. Special thanks to Dr. Corey and Biola University for the opportunity to represent a school that has had major impact on my life.

“God With Us”

Jesus was born not to change history but eternity. As Christ entered into this dark world two thousand years ago, so the Spirit enters our dark hearts today to bring His light and flourish through us. This is the great gift of an ever living and ever loving God. Even in His name there is promise- Immanuel!

May the Spirit of God flourish through your life’s story!

Merry Christmas!


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