December 13, 2020: 3rd Sunday of Advent


TEXT: Isaiah 9:6: “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Dearly Beloved Children of God:

A superlative is an adjective used to describe something or someone that is above all others. Something or someone who is superior and without rival. I get frustrated when I hear people use superlatives today in a non-superlative fashion. That’s because it empties the words of their true meaning. A player scores a touchdown and it’s described as: brilliant! No, it’s not. It’s athletic. It has nothing to do with brain power. The word “awesome” is one of the most over-used words in our culture. Does a child baking a cookie leave you speechless and filled with awe? I think not.

Isaiah uses some superlatives in our lesson. And they are all well-deserved! He describes the coming Messiah, God’s Son and His work of saving lost humankind with three superlatives. Jesus was that Messiah. Jesus was the promised Savior from sin and all evil. He is the 2nd Person of the Godhead Who is forever joined with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Each is fully God and each is distinctive. Together they form one God, Who truly IS superlative!

The first superlative name for the promised Savior is: “Wonderful Counselor.” His love shown at Christmas and throughout His life is wonderful. It fills us with wonder, the happy joyous kind, as we ponder His huge love for us. A Counselor is one who advises and comforts us. He is without rival in that regard. Recall His promise: “I will never leave nor forsake you.”

The 2nd superlative is: “Mighty God.” That really says it all. He’s not a weak, spineless human who was born poor in a manger. No, He’s All-powerful because He’s God. God Who assumed human flesh. God Who bore our griefs and carries all our sorrows. And since He’s God, He has the power to help us, to fix our problems. Nothing can stand against Him. Tied into this is: “Everlasting Father.” This fits Christ as well because there is unity in the Trinity. Recall that passage where He says: “I and the Father am One.”

The 3rd superlative is: “Prince of Peace.” Christ wasn’t just a messenger of peace. He didn’t just tell us about peace of soul. He’s the royal Prince in charge of winning it and giving it to us through faith. He did just that, and it was all promised, by dying for our sins and rising from death to life—our death died in Him and a new life came from Him. And this peace and

life are never-ending. That’s why the next line from Isaiah promises that this Christmas gift is The Christmas Gift that never goes stale or breaks like a plastic toy under the tree. “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.”

It’s been over 2700 years since God made those promises to us. It’s been over 2000 years since He kept them in and through Jesus Christ. NOW THAT’S A SUPERLATIVE GIFT! And how could it be otherwise since it comes from our SUPERLATIVE GIFT! And how could it be otherwise since it comes from our SUPERLATIVE GOD! Amen


Pastor Thomas H. Fox

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