English Standard Version (ESV)
This brings up one of the themes of the Bible -- receiving that for which we did not labor. Here we have a barren one who will soon have their habitations spread out, whose offspring will populate desolate cities. In theory, the barren one should not leave such a legacy, but God somehow brings life where there was once only death.
It's the same theme we see in Christ's atoning death and resurrection. Christ died to gain atonement for our sins, and through his perfect sacrifice, we were granted peace and forgiveness. It's not what we did, but rather what Christ did.
It's God's economy -- it's very different than the global marketplace, right? We get that for which we did not labor. We receive what we don't deserve. God is at work, and we don't have to earn -- we just have to accept. You come to the throne of grace not by your merit, but by grace.
As we enter the week of Christmas, as Mary and Joseph wander toward Bethlehem, may we make our own pilgrimage of the heart, going to that place where we are blessed beyond measure by a generous God who loves without condition and delights in you because you are his child. His love is wild and free, and it roams as the Spirit does, settling into the heart and transforming our lives. May the star lead us forward.