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.
The Gospel of Matthew records how the angel of the Lord to announced to Joseph that Mary “will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (1:21). Furthermore, the angel explained how Jesus' birth fulfilled what was promised to the prophet Isaiah (Is. 7:14) that “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God with us.” In this surprising and wonderful truth, we learn that the son will not be any ordinary baby boy, but will in fact be God himself. God kept his promises, and did so in the most extraordinary and abundant way. God himself has come! He is not a god at a distance, he is God with us.
Collect for Christmas Eve:
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.