Gratitude on the Prairie
Cycle B Sermons for Proper 18 - Thanksgiving Based on the Gospel Texts
Thomas Willadsen

Price: $14.95

ISBN: 0788029991
Size: 5.5x8.5
Pages: 100
“But faith in Christ calls us out of solitary pursuits. Faith in Christ calls us to proclaim Christ where the hurt is the worst, where despair is the deepest, where hope has never been born. We can’t sit under our telescope or at our desk and respond fully to Christ. We have to feel the brokenness around us. We have to be touched, even wounded by it.” Thomas Willadsen challenges his readers to look at Christ’s sacrifice for us in a new way, to feel the brokenness and challenges that He suffered for us. The challenge of being a Christian is that it is not always easy to spread the good news of God’s love for us.

However, Willadsen points out that this call to spread Christianity has its rewards, even if we do not realize them at first. “You may discover that you have interests and abilities you didn’t realize. You will make new friends and deepen existing friendships. You will learn—I insist on that! —and you will be given opportunities to respond to Christ’s call, to Christ’s sacrifice” (21). No matter the place you are in your life or your destination, Willadsen encourages us as Christians to love others, and to be as Christ for everyone we interact with. Though this might not be easy, Jesus’ ministry wasn’t simple either. Become like Christ through your actions. Love like Christ through your words. Suffer like Christ when people reject you. But overall, remember that you are loved by Christ.

Sermon titles include:
  • “It’s Lonely at the Top” (Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22, Psalm 124, Mark 9:38-50, Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29)
  • “Seeing with the Eyes of Faith” (Psalm 34: 1-8, 19-22, Jeremiah 31:7-9, Psalm 126, Mark 10:46-52)
  • “Steadfast Change” (1 Samuel 1:4-20, 2:1-10, Hebrews 10:11-25, Mark 13:1-8)

Thomas Willadsen has been a Presbyterian minister nearly thirty years. He has served churches in Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin. He received his Master’s of Divinity from the University of Chicago in 1990 and Doctor of Ministry from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2013. Since 1996 Tom has written humor for The Cresset, Valparaiso University’s review of literature, the arts and public affairs. His column “Al Spangler” was cited by the Associated Church Press as one of the top humor pieces in 2017. He delivered the annual Franz Bibfeldt lecture at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago in 2013.