Call Up Samuel!

Call Up Samuel

. . finally the woman said, whose spirit do you want me to call up? “Call up Samuel,” he replied. I Samuel 28:11

We  were awaken  sweating, and yelling  Thursday  night–from a dream of   a ghost shaking our bed. We were  terrified, sweating, unable to sleep, and laying in bed we remembered our  very first sermon, entitled “Call Up Samuel”, at Grace United Methodist Church, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It’s memory so vivid. My first experience after  being in  speech therapy for stuttering for several years; We had been told we would  never preach, and here we were doing it, and the following June received our first church appointment.  One ghost cast aside in the line of many to come.

    This story of Samuel being called up from the dead by the witch of Endor was challenging, intriguing, and a reminder of all the “ghosts’ both then and now that often times surround us.

    Saul was afraid to go into battle, he was seeking help, and so he turned to Samuel, who was dead and buried, and he had the medium of Endor call him up.

   There are ghosts all around us–in the fires raging throughout California, seeing people having to leave their houses, sleep in cars, and shelters;  in those  people who are  homeless sleeping on our street, worrying about where their next meal will come from and if they will become ill from the virus; ghosts are surrounding those worrying about how to pay rent; We are surrounded by ghosts.

    And as the bed shakes, and the voice of the ghost screams  in our  nightmares we will enter solitude first of all to meet Jesus and be with him alone. Our primary task in life is to enter into solitude, not paying undue attention to the many “ghosts” that assail us, but to keep our eyes and mind on the heart of Jesus  who saves us by his grace.

    We will remember in the words of Bene Brown that:

Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all intricately connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.”

and hear the words of  Benigno  Ninoy Aquino :

“The message of Jesus, as I understand it, is that we must be ready to sacrifice for our fellow men  and women at all times, and if need be, even to offer our lives for them.”

    Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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