Summary: Learn to give thanks for a superhero too wonderful for words
Those of you here earlier will know the answer to this but try to guess who I’m talking about. From an idyllic place this father sends his son to a world in which he would be alone, seen as strange and in which no one would understand him. The son, on earth lives with his adoptive parents till the time is ripe for him to step onto center stage? Of course we all know I’m talking about Superman.
From the 1941 radio scripts that had him arrive fully grown to the more well known figures of George Reeves, and Christopher Reeve to the oft forgotten Superboys of John Newton and Gerard Christopher and that of Dean Cain in Lois and Clark and the newest sensation in Tom Welling’s portrayal in Smallville. Superman has captured the heart and soul of America’s thirst for a hero. Do you remember that great line in the old TV series, “Look! Up in the air. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Superman!”.
Not taking anything away from Superman but if you ever get a chance to see one of those episodes I want you to notice something about the opening scene. Some bad guy fires his gun at Superman, emptying every chamber, Superman laughs off the bullets, then the bad guy takes his gun and throws it and Superman ducks. Why would Superman duck? Bullets coming at 1000 MPH didn’t faze him, but gun thrown at 1/4th MPH makes him DUCK! The answer is, he’s not really Superman, he’s an actor, playing Superman and a gun in the face might hurt, so you duck.
Let me tell you about another father who sent his son to the planet earth. Like Ka-El, he has extraordinary powers. He is able to walk on water. He is able to see into the hearts of people perfectly. He is more powerful than evil. He is able to rescue people from an eternity of meaninglessness, hopelessness, and selfishness. But unlike the Superman of the comics, radio, TV and the movies, this young child is not make-believe. His story is History—not fantasy. And as we draw into the weeks of Advent we are going to come to adore, admire and appreciate the Amazing Emmanuel more and more.
With Thanksgiving upon us those are great words to recall. Because in Jesus we see a magnificent hero who is more than he appears to be. We have a phenomenal hero who has intersected our personal lives and this selfless hero is a Gift as well as the Giver of Gifts.
The Amazing Emmanuel is a magnificent hero who is more than he appears to be. Jesus came to earth incognito. There were some who were open to seeing what God was doing. There were a few who had been waiting long and hard for this coming King. But most people were too caught up in the rest of life to notice. And so Jesus passed under the radar screens of most of the people. Have you ever considered the irony of Jesus’ birth? Jesus, the most powerful being in or outside of the universe, is lying helpless in a manger. He is certainly more than he appeared to be. The one who “took on the very nature of a servant” (v.7) or as The Message says, “the status of a slave”
This Hero too wonderful for words is not just a teacher or moral person. He’s not just a prophet or a great example of how to live. He’s God Himself. He didn’t start life on that Christmas Eve; He is co-eternal with the Father. He is the Holy One! He is the promised one. No! We can’t truly understand all of this because it is a mystery so deep we are just left thanking God for a Hero that is too wonderful for words.
The Amazing Emmanuel who has intersected our personal lives. Could you imagine what it must have been like for Martha Kent to have a baby, literally fall into your life? Can you imagine Mary and what it must have been like to know that your baby was none other than the Savior of the world?
Shedding Himself of the power and pomp of his rightful place he’s become one of us. He “dwelt with us” John says in his gospel. He moved into our neighborhood. And life can never be the same for someone who meets Jesus. As a kid you might have imagined what it would have been like to meet one of the great heroes out of the pages of a comic book. You might have dreamed of what it would be like to meet a hero from your favorite sports team or some other famous or powerful person. But let me tell you that as great as that may have been it isn’t one percent as exciting as meeting Jesus Christ because no one is the same when Jesus enters into their life.