This is the story of Marcus. Marcus was a teenager who struggled through life with a stutter. He had a hard time making friends and saying simple things so he felt like an outcast. One day, his doctor showed him a tiny device that looked like a hearing aid. He said that it might fix his stutter. Marcus was a little skeptical, but there was no harm in trying. When he put the device in his ear, the change was immediate. His stutter was gone; he could even say with ease phrases that he normally avoided. His life changed in a moment. When he went back to school the next day, his friends noticed a difference and he couldn’t stop talking to them about the change in his life. He was proud and confident and best of all he no longer felt like an outcast.

I’m not sure if we always realize that the same thing has happened to us. Like Marcus our lives are different because we’ve been cleansed from sin. But instead of living in thankful exuberance, we get wrapped up in our little lives, going here and there, and living like the rest of the world. But in the quiet hours of the night, when our consciences finally have a moment to speak to us without being drowned out, they remind us of how we have failed God today. Of how we have done this thing wrong or that thing wrong. They remind us that our lives are full of the sin.

We easily forget that. Maybe that’s one reason we’re so busy these days, we don’t want to hear our consciences so we drown them out with other things. But our consciences don’t go away. And we know that God is not happy with us, and that we will have to answer to him.

But maybe what we forget is the change that has taken place. In spite of our sin, we are always loved. God made sure we would know that by sending his son to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. His blood on the cross washes our hearts and cleans them from our sin. God sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts to create faith that trusts in the promises of God.

We’re saved! We’re cleansed from sin. Now when our consciences remind us of how we have failed God, we can answer back, “Jesus died for me. I appeal to that; I appeal to the love of God.” Like Marcus, we are no longer outcasts from God’s family, but we have been adopted through Christ, we are now sons and daughters of the ruler and judge of the universe. You think that’s a big deal? You bet it is, because not only does it mean we have a reason to rejoice here on earth, but it means we have a reason to rejoice forever in heaven.

And that change is now. And it's a change that gives us a reason to thankful.