By Pastor Mike Ashman    Zion Lutheran Church, Jubilee

I am a cancer survivor. About three years ago, I began to bleed from my chest. The doctor first tried hormonal therapy, but to no avail. I was sent a breast surgeon who prepped me for cancer surgery the following Thursday. After surgery and radiation treatment, the doctor was happy to state that my cancer was at stage zero. Survivors learn that you are never cured – and you never will be. Cancer cells exist in our bodies naturally; in some people, they become active turning the bodies healthy cells against its host. I am a cancer survivor. About three years ago, I began to bleed from my chest. The doctor first tried hormonal therapy, but to no avail. I was sent a breast surgeon who prepped me for cancer surgery the following Thursday. After surgery and radiation treatment, the doctor was happy to state that my cancer was at stage zero. Survivors learn that you are never cured – and you never will be. Cancer cells exist in our bodies naturally; in some people, they become active turning the bodies healthy cells against its host.

When contemplating the topic of sin, I turn to the concept of cancer. Sin is a part of our spiritual DNA. No matter how much good we do – or how well we live, sin still lurks in the background. Saint Paul writes in Romans, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.” Also like cancer, sin has the ability to consume its host. Unresolved guilt, grudges and stained relationships slowly and methodically eat at the very heart and soul.

Reconciliation, confession and forgiveness, grants us new life in Jesus Christ. But even with this, we believe that we still are both sinner and saint. With the cross of Christ, we receive forgiveness. A gift we should share with those around us. But I am ever reminded that this is not a cure, not an inoculation against sin, but a tool in the struggle of this earthly life. But to remain at stage zero, we need remain connected to our Lord and our community of faith.