18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” 24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
When looking at the birth of Jesus it seems very simple. We’ve been told the story every year at Christmas for longer than we can remember. When Jesus is born and called Emmanuel, God with us, it shows that God is with us always, as well as with Mary and Joseph during the birth of Jesus. With everything that has been happening with COVID-19, very many of us have lost loved ones. With grief that follows, God is with you. While this is hard, and it may seem like God is punishing you or is not with us, it is still important to remember that God is always with us, especially in times like this. Amen.