As comic book movies take over the box office, the Marvel Universe has erupted into chaos.
Phoenix, the demon-like storm, is here and has infected some mutants. But, it still hasn't reached it's main target: Hope Summers. As the Avengers are picked off by the now over-powered and power-hungry mutants (Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, Magik, and Namor), the other heroes have hidden away from the world in a different dimension waiting until they can get back on their feet.
In the end, it will be up to Hope to save the world from the dark power of the Phoenix, but until then she is only in training.
Although, the Immortal Iron Fist is her mentor (seen waaay below saying "What?"), Spider-Man has his chance to talk with Hope. He says:
Pete speaks from experience, he's been around the block. He knows what it's like to be part of a team full of superheroes and gods. He knows what its like to feel so small while still so overwhelmed. And, he knows what it's like to be the one lagging behind. In fact, I remember that in the first issue of Avenging Spider-Man, Spidey does his part in fighting with the Avengers, but after the fight is over he has no way to get back to New York because webbing can't shoot between cities. He must rely on the Red Hulk (Rulk) to carry him back to his hometown. Anyway, he really knows how Hope feels: helpless and maybe afraid.
At the same time, Spider-Man's courage is always his best trait. On the surface Pete doesn't seem to be the boldest or bravest hero, or even the most courageous. But, when someone's life becomes threatened or there is an evil that must be stopped, Spidey's courage to stand up for what's right and cling onto the responsibility of saving the world always sees him through.
That's just how we are. We know that we aren't the strongest or the bravest or even the smartest. We are really helpless and probably afraid. We might feel like the Karate Kid going through meaningless exercises, through our practices of love, hope, joy, patience, kindness, and all of the rest of a Christian's trait. We become stronger and ready to face whatever may be thrown at us. Like a muscle, our faith and our traits become strengthened to support us. We become ready for our moment and what we may need to do in the future. Without our practicing of endurance we may never be able to finish the race. But, after it's practice and with God's coaching, we can reach a world-record breaking ending.
Still, our own actions can never merit enough.
At the end of this comic book Spider-Man is there when the world needs him and he is ready to give his all. Pete is beaten to a pulp by two of the Avengers' most powerful enemies. He survives, but barely. By the end of the comic book he is only clinging to his life. Blood pores from his body and he cannot get up. He's on the ground. But, he continues to try to overcome his adversaries. He knew that this was his moment. He stood up to fight so that all of the other Avengers could get away. He became a sacrificial distraction to save the ones he loved. The distraction worked, but barely and Spidey would have been left for dead if the others hadn't come back for him.
All that we do, all that we could even think of doing, wouldn't be able to measure up to what we need to do. On judgment day, there is no way that we could stand before God and offer him a clean slate. We will become beaten and bruised by the guilt and sorrow that we know that we have caused Him and others. Although we continue to try, we could never overcome our sin. Like Spider-Man was dependent on the Avengers to come back for him, we are dependent on Christ to come back for us, pick us up off of the floor, and carry us home.
Although we can never win. We can never do this on our own.
We must muster the courage to try.
And know, that as we try,
As we struggle from day to day,
Through our tasks and trials,
We can know that Christ is there with us,
Fighting alongside us,