I have two things to confess to you this afternoon.
First, in 25 years of ministry I have never preached on this passage from 1 Samuel 28:3-25 before.
Second, when I saw it on the list of potential passages for our our summer Stepping Stones Series, I didn't remember it. Last week was probably the first time I read the whole story.
But I have thoroughly enjoyed pondering this amazing story:
--King Saul worrying about overcoming the Philistine army in battle.
--How he prayed to God for guidance and direction and how God was silent,
--How Saul disguised himself and sought assistance from the Witch at Endor who was able to bring up the dead prophet Samuel,
--How Samuel spoke the truth to Saul about his future and a new future for Israel,
--and hhe witch cared for Saul with compassion and hospitality!
This is an unusual, quirky and odd story.
But it is fascinating as it encourages our congregation in this time of discernment for the future.
--Will we be able to be patient...waiting and listening for God to guide our steps to the future.
--Are we listening the voices of history and tradition which have asked these same questions in the past?
--Can we hear what the world around us saying to the church today?
--Are we open to hearing God's voice in unconvential ways?
I pray that our answer to each question will be Yes!