Into the Spiderverse, the newest Sony cartoon flick, “proclaims” anyone can be Spiderman; you don’t have to a man to be a Spiderman (say hello to the coolest ballet-inspired teenage girl, Spider-Gwen, and to inclusive language to fit this new reality) or American (Penni Parker is Japanese, fluent in Japanese, English
So Spiderverse and the world have embraced the weird (at first only) and beautiful truth that there are many diverse (so different that it can get weird) Spiderman origin stories! Meanwhile, American Christianity insists on one story for Christmas, and it’s got to be a “White Christmas,” i.e. a White infant Jesus. Put a Black infant in the creche, and evangelicals will trash it as unhistorical (oh the irony!) while liberals will pull at the fraying wool of their reindeer sweater and whisper “Jesus was brown,” but what he’s really feeling is the discomfort of Jesus who is not white (just as the mainline liberals love people of color as long as they don’t join their congregation and start changing things). The JJ Abram’s Star Wars trilogy was trolled for poisoning the purity of the Star Wars mythology by peopling it with Asians and blacks; Imagine the backlash if Joseph looked like someone you would call the police on. Actually, you don’t have to imagine; just look at the American Christian history and media.
For one thing, Spiderverse gets the implication of incarnation. That eternity entered time is to say that the eternal can be found in any time (or dimensions in the case of Spiderverse). If a Jew can be a child of God, then so can a Greek who eats pork (sorry Spider-Ham). This is the gospel, the gift that continues to surprise Paul with every unwrapping, that in Christ, anyone can say “Abba!” (Romans 8). And watch out when the children of God are revealed, when all the God-people (Spiderpeople) come together, then the whole cosmos is getting rescued!
For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed ….that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
Gregory of Nazianzus, 4th century monk & theologian
“God became human and poor for our sake, to raise up our flesh, to recover our divine image, to recreate humanity. We no longer observe distinctions arriving from the flesh, but are to bear within ourselves only the seal of God, by whom and for whom we were created. We are to be so formed and molded by -Jesus that we are recognized as belonging to his one family. If only we could be what we hope to be, by the great kindness of our generous God!”