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.

Sunday before Pentecost (2020) - Bible text for the sermon text below

Prayer for this day.

O Lord our God, Spirit of Truth, who has raised your Son to your Glory we thank you  that you send your Holy Spirit to us as He Promised. Let your mercy rest upon us and lead us in life to a deeper nearness to and love of you. We pray for sensitivity to be aware of the needs of our fellows and courage to be your love for them. In the name of Jesus we pray.  


The Old Testament Reading.   1 Kings 19(9-16)

And there (at Horeb the mount of God) he came to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “”What are you doing here, Elijah?”  He said,” I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of Hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain the prophets with the sword; and I, even I only am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” And He said , ”Go forth and stand upon the mound before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind, an earthquake, but the lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake, a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a still small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantel and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. And behold there came a voice to him, and said , ”What are you doing here, Elijah?”

He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” And the Lord said to him,” Go, return on your way to the  wilderness of Damascus ; and when you arrive you shall anoint Hazael to be King over Syria; and Nehu , the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be King over Israel; and Elisha, the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place.

The Epistle Reading  The Acts 1(12-14)

Then they made their way back to Jerusalem( after ascension day)  from the hill which is called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem, about half a mile away. When they came in, they went to the upper room where they were staying; Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James , the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas , the son of James were all there. All of them with one united heart persevered in prayer, together with certain women and with Mary, Jesus’mother, and with his brothers.

Translation:   Reverend Doctor William Barclay

The Gospel Reading Saint John16(12-15)

“ I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When The Spirit of Truth has come, he will lead you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own authority and out of his own knowledge, but he will speak all that he will hear, and he will tell you of the things to come. He will Glorify me, for he will take of the things which belong to me, and will tell you of them. All things that the Father has are mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take of the things  which belong to me and tell them to you.”

Translation:   Reverend Doctor William Barclay

Mini Sermon Sunday before Pentecost

Waiting  is something 21st century folk in the West are not good at. We want things to happen NOW and through the advances of science technology and medicine  they can happen in our NOW.

In our texts today one thing is clear…

Patience  and ability to wait are essential…Elijah had to wait till he had calmed down enough to hear and to listen to Gods voice.He is being hunted down by the forces of Jezebel : she a worshiper of Baal God has defeated all of her prophets through a challenge Elijah had given them and he ,Elijah is the only believer in Adonai left. He is terrified for his life and runs to the Holy Mountain, to a cave where God asks “Why are you here” The text is so alive! He babbles out his terror and God gives him time to see into himself and to see and hear the Word. When he has calmed down ; when he has given the gentle breeze and hears again God’s question “Why are you here?” he repeats his words to God to himself in the stillness of his heart . This is my situation . This is my NOW . God does NOT say “Poor you . I will lift you out of this . Send you with a new identity to a new country where you can live happily ever after “  No, God gives him a new command . Instructions for his New Now…now you must go and do my bidding. He does! Somehow this meeting with God fills him with strength of God’s purpose. The Holy Spirit is with him!  His heart has been given clarity! His being has been given strength and ability to  go and do God’s will in spite of his fear.

The disciples had to wait for the arrival of the Holy Spirit , he whom Jesus had promised to send. The waiting time..what was the point? Why not NOW!

Perhaps in the days between Ascension and Pentecost they had been given time together to think about and discuss together and in their own hearts who Jesus was , who they were; what the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit ,this promised Entity would mean to their lives and mission. They are like Elijah in a cave(A room ,yes but separated from the Outside; a room where they gathered often to Communicate in prayer with God)

Jesus has warned them of the danger of persecution ,miss understanding, fear  ..possible death.. if they  continue to be His followers. Not a dance on rose petals ….on tags yes! BUT his promise is there..I will be with you. I will send my Messenger to you that you will understand I AM WITH YOU.

I (the writer) imagine they say to themselves and to one another “Why are we here?” and decide…”to do Christ’s bidding for God’s sake and humanity’s Souls’ sake.”

This is the challenge for us . Why are we here? It can be that we like the disciples and Elijah are in a cave called “lock down” This is our NOW , our waiting time. Pray God give us strength to be calm in the storms and earthquakes of our NOW that we might hear His voice in the stillness of prayer and community. May he give us  strength to go out and do His bidding …whatever that might be.

We pray:  Give us your Holy Spirit Lord. Be with us till the end of time.


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