The press this week is reporting that St Andrews University in Fife has received funding from a large pharmaceutical company to build a new centre for research into so called ‘hospital acquired infections’, like MRSA and clostridium difficile.
With some spectacular reporting in the media, these diseases have become something people really fear when they have to go into hospital: ‘are they more likely to get an addition illness than they are to be cured of their current one?’.
Between December and May of this year around 3,000 people got c. difficile in Scotland so together with the smaller figures for MRSA I guess that around 7,000 people a year will pick up this type of infection. While these figures are serious, given a population of 5 million in Scotland it is obvious that only a tiny minority of the population is ever actually going to suffer from such a disease.
What if there were a contagion that actually affected everyone in Scotland (and indeed the world) from the minute we are born? Surely such a problem would require even more investigation than will be done at the new £5m facility at St Andrews? What if the symptoms of this disease were evident all around us, so evident indeed that we have stopped noticing them?
The Bible tells us of just such a contagion. It uses the unfashionable word ‘sin’ to describe it. We read in Romans 3vs23, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Verse 12 of the same chapter describes the symptoms, “there is none who does good, no, not one”. That is not to say that we are totally incapable of performing any good act, but it does mean that we are totally incapable of living consistently good (perfect) lives. Fortunately the research into the cure for this disease has already been done, Romans 5vs8 says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. The only man who did live a perfect life, who could not sin, has taken the punishment that our sin deserves. As the Old Testament prophet Isaiah puts it, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes [wounds] we are healed … the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53vs5-6).
God has made this provision for our disease and the contagion can be halted, but it needs your cooperation. Just as MRSA and c.difficile can be stopped by simple measures like staff washing their hands, so the problem of sin can be stopped by the simple measures of repentance from sin and acceptance of the Lord Jesus as your Saviour and Lord.