The International Church of Stockholm (ICS)

Worship at home with Mini Sermons from our ministers while the ICS services are postponed due to the Corona Virus.

5th Easter Sunday (2020) - Bible versions for the sermon text below

Growing in Faith

Old Testament Reading Isaiah 57(15-16)

For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

“I dwell in the high and holy place and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite. For I will not contend for ever nor will I always be angry, for, from me proceeds the spirit, and I have made the breath of life.”

Revised Standard Version.

The Epistle Reading Galatians 5 (13-18)

As for you brothers, it was for freedom that you were called, only you must not use this freedom as a bridgehead through which the worst side of human nature can invade you, but in love you must serve one another; for the whole law stands complete in one word, in the sentence “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you snap at one another, and devour one another, you must watch that you do not end up  by wiping each other out. I tell you, let your walk and conversation be dominated by the spirit, and don’t let the desires of the lower side of your nature have their way. For the desires of the lower side of human nature are the very reverse of the Spirit. And the desires of the Spirit are the very revere of those on the lower side of human nature, for these are fundamentally opposed to each other, so that you cannot do whatever you like.( if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.)

Verses 1-17 Reverend Doctor William Barclay

Verse 18 new English Bible

In my copy of William Barclays translation for today’s text verse 18 is missing therefore I have added the verse from the New English

“If ye be led by the Spirit , ye are not under the Law”( King James Bible)

“But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you”

(Contemporary English Version)

The Gospel Reading John 17(9-17)

Jesus  said,

”I pray for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom thou hast given me, because they belong to thee. All that is mine is thine and what is thine is mine; and through them has my glory shone. I am to stay no longer in the world, but they are still in the world, and I am on my way to thee. Holy Father protect by the power of thy name those whom thou hast given me, that they maybe one as we are one. When I was with them, I protected by the power of thy name those whom thou hast given me, and kept them safe. Not one of them is lost except for the man who must be lost, for Scripture has to be fulfilled. And now I am coming to thee; but while I am still in the world I speak these words, so that they may have my joy within them in full measure. I have delivered thy word to them and the world hates them because they are strangers in the world, as I am. I pray thee not to take them out of the world , but to keep them from the evil one. They are strangers in the world as I am . Consecrate them by the truth; thy word is truth.

The New English Bible.

5th Easter Sunday 2020 - Sermon Text from Georgina

Mini Sermon 10th May 2020  5th Sunday of Easter

The Orthodox Jewish Faith was ”Obey the law. This gives salvation” What is being in a state of salvation? Being one of God’s loved ones.

Saul of Tarsus, ,a Pharisee , enthusiastic , faithful , orthodox Jew, enemy of all that Christianity was,  experienced something mighty that literally turned his life and Faith around. He realized that however hard a person tried to follow the Law he/she could never obtain perfection (be saved). The law is an instrument which drives us to realize this truth. Because of how his conversion came to be, Saul became aware of the is through Faith in God’s love that we are saved. Not by our deeds our own efforts but by His love for humanity(for His Creation). He became Paul and lived and gave his life to spread this Truth amongst all nations .

In Matthew’s Gospel we can read that many lose love , lose faith when crisis occur. Unemployment, loss of a loved one, natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, diseases such as we are fighting now. All sorts of trials and tribulations can give rise to “If there was a god he would do something; my child would not have died; Corona would not exist”.

Being a Christian does not release us from life’s hard experiences. It gives us an anchor a strength to continue in His way. “Love your neighbour as yourself”

A simple example of this not loving one’s neighbor:

I heard that never before have so many bicycles been stolen as now in Sweden. Why? Self love perhaps.

“ I have to get to work. The buses and underground are dangerous places to be in. I don’t have car. I can take this bicycle. My need is great” Yes we should love ourselves but not to the detriment of others” The person to whom the bicycle belongs has need for it. Maybe a Doctor on his/her way to an intensive care unit. A patient dies because the Doctor is not there. The attitude “my need is greater than yours” does not legitimize theft. Love one another!

The opposite of this attitude .A young woman in my building saw that flowers had been outside my door  from one day to another. She phoned me to tell me and check if I was  ill. Simple deed but based on caring for her neighbour.

Our big challenge as Christians is to be here for others . To help in any and every way we can. Phoning a friend more often . Donating  money to research and charity . Doing some shopping for  someone who is in the danger zone. Getting involved with Christ and our fellows

A thought( not biblical) we can keep in mind : “This too will pass” may help us to keep the faith and be as Christ.

This way when Corona and other enemies are defeated we can as people did 75 years ago in Europe , dance in the streets and say ”It is over. Victory is ours.” Victory over the risk of losing faith . Victory of His love in us.


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