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.

Fourth Sunday after Trinity Year 3.

Old Testament Reading            Ezekiel 18(30-32)

Therefore I will judge you O house of Israel, every one according  to his ways,” Says the Lord God. ”Repent and turn away from all your transgressions lest your iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed against me and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die O house of Israel? For,  I have no pleasure in the death of anyone,” says the Lord God; “So turn and live!”                                                                         Revised Standard Version

The Epistle Reading.                   Galatians 6(1-7)

Brothers, if a man is caught out in some moral slip- up,  you whose lives are dominated by the Spirit must correct such a man with the spirit of gentleness, and as you do it, you must think about yourselves, in case you too should be tempted. Carry one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ. For, if anyone thinks of himself as important while he is of no importance, he is deceiving himself with the fancies of his mind. Let every man test his own work, and then any ground of boasting that he has will be in regard to himself and not in comparison with others. For each man must carry his own pack. He who is being instructed in the word must share in all good things with him who is giving instruction. Don’t deceive yourselves; no one can make a fool of God; whatever a man sows this he will also reap.                                                                             Reverend William Barclay

The Gospel Reading                     Luke 6(36-42)

Be merciful as your Father in heaven is merciful; do not judge and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and it will be given to you. People will give into your bosom , good measure  pressed together,  shaken down, running over; for with what measure you measure it will be measured to you back again. Jesus spoke a parable to them:” Surely a blind man cannot lead a blind man? If he tries to do so will not both fall into the ditch? The disciple cannot advance beyond his teacher but every disciple will be equipped as his teacher is. Why do you look at the speck of dust that is in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank that is in your own eye? Or, how can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the speck of dust that is in your eye when you your self do not notice the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite! First put the plank out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to put out the speck of dust that is in your brother’s eye.Reverend William Barclay

Prayer for this day

O God of grace who can judge and  establish balance in humanity help us to live in your love that we might forgive one another as you have forgiven us. In Jesus name we pray .


Read also Psalms of David 62 (2-9) and Swedish hymn 756 “bara i dig  har min själ sin ro” In you alone my soul has peace

Recently I have been watching some morning news programmes and have been deeply distressed at the so called Debates I have seen there. When I was at school(in Britain between 1947 and 1961) we were taught to listen . to pronounce correctly , to think, to speak slowly; slowly enough to be heard and not too slowly to be boring. We had a Debating  Society from the age of 12. Those who were debating put forward their arguments and then there was  “Question time” followed by a vote. The” Debates” I have listened to in the past few weeks have been shouting matches where calling your opponent names and using insulting phrases to describe them is the rule rather than the exception. One of the basic foundation stones for our society has been “Respect” not “Fearful Submission” to a stronger voice or power seen in the style of public speaking that certain less than admirable leaders have used (and still do)

Our texts speak of judgement and of morals and of self knowledge. We are in a dangerous global situation not only because we are facing and fighting a new deadly virus but a havoc encouraged by people who(as I see it) do not stop to think. What is our guide ? Who is our leader? In times when  leaders are less than effective we look around for someone or something  to keep the balance in life. OUR answer must be Jesus and his teaching. His Faith in the Eternally present God. A prophet is a spokesman for God and Ezekiel is speaking to exiled Hebrews in Babylon. As he has done for many years .There have been different opinions on sin and judgement. A bad man must die putting the Jews into different camps “We are right” “No we are Right” Through Ezekiel God says “Stop  judgíng others. Leave judging up to me. Look into your own hearts .Are you striving to do my will? Are you trying to make your will law? Get a new spirit and a new heart. Many have taught and many still believe in a God who punishes by death but here He clearly says he wants no one to die. He implores us to turn around for God’s sake to life. Paul says the same thing really to the Christians in Galatia. Look into your own heart. See your fellow man(person) as your equal . Struggling with life’s challenges. Help one another. Don’t look down on anyone from a height you have chosen for your own worth.  We must share in our faith and our discoveries in life .

Luke tells that Jesus said the same thing; With his wonderful gift of telling stories to prove his point. Just imagine a person with a plank sticking out of his eye criticising some- one for the speck of dust in theirs. Each of us has a life of challenge and must work hard at conquering that which separates us from the path that leads to God and freedom and joy. Our duty and pleasure is to be of service to others. In doing that, instead of looking for fault and criticising , we are living according to God’s will. Do you want forgiveness and love and peace from God? Give his children ….humanity….just that: be the servant.


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