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Remember and Do Not Forget
Communion, September 7, 2014
Exodus 12:21-28

In our Old Testament scripture for today, Moses is telling the Israelites how to remember something that hasn’t even happened yet. God is going to do something terrible and something wonderful. God is going to kill the firstborn of the Egyptians, the people who have enslaved the Israelites and whose King will not let them go. That’s terrible. It’s awful. It’s hard to understand.  Even though the Israelites have suffered terribly—even though Pharaoh had murdered the firstborn of the Israelites himself—somehow it’s different when it’s God who instigating it.Read More »Remember

God on Trial

Din Torah

The phoenix, the Invictus cross, and the butterfly–all symbolizing different meanings of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to Christians.

By Rev. Dr. Fritz Ritsch

October 7, 2012

World Communion Sunday

Job 1:1, 2: 1-12

Yaffa Eliach, a highly respected Jewish historian who is herself a survivor of the Holocaust, tells the story that in 1979, she was a member of President Carter’s Commission on the Holocaust.  The commission, who would ultimately lay the groundwork for the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, had visited sites of countless atrocities and collected stories from Holocaust survivors. After visiting Auschwitz, the commission held evening services at the ancient Rema Synagogue in Cracow, Poland.  In the middle of the worship service, “Miles Lerman, a former partisan and sole survivor of a large Jewish family,” stepped forward, banged his fist on the bema, the pulpit, “and declared that he was calling God to Din Torah—summoning God to court!” Read More »God on Trial

Sacramental Drama


By Rev. Dr. Fritz Ritsch

St. Stephen Presbyterian Church

Fort Worth,TX

 Communion Sunday and the Baptism of Eunice Kang

Mark 7: 31-37

James 1: 17-27

JC Kang, St. Stephen’s seminary student at Columbia, holds baby Eunice with his wife Jung and sponsors Beth and Robbie Fultz looking on, as Rev. Ritsch administers the sacrament of baptism.

Today we’re baptizing Eunice Kang, the daughter of JC and Jung Kang. JC is the seminary student we’re sponsoring at Columbia Seminary. But we’re also performing the Lord’s Supper, which means we’re performing both the sacraments that Presbyterians believe in.


Now when yours truly was in seminary, I was taught that one of the main purposes of the sacraments is drama. When I heard that, a little light went off in my head. See, I was an actor for quite a while myself. The sacraments are dramatic—of course! When we do the sacraments, we are actors in a play. Read More »Sacramental Drama

Broken Pieces–Mark 6: 35-44, Part 1


By Rev. Dr. Fritz Ritsch, St. Stephen Presbyterian Church

Fort Worth, TX

The Lords Supper

July 15, 2012


Jesus’ disciples want to send the crowds home to get something to eat. Instead, Jesus tells his disciples “You give them something to eat.” He has them organize the thousands present in groups of hundreds and fifties, as were Roman army units, and they pass out the bread.

And somehow, everybody has enough.

We call this the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, but the Bible doesn’t say it’s a miracle. Scholars will argue forever about whether the food somehow multiplied like bunnies or if in fact people there really had brought food with them, and decided that rather than hoard it, they would share it with the members of their group. We aren’t going to solve that mystery today, and that’s not what I want to focus on.

What’s interesting is that Jesus tells the disciples to give the crowd something to eat, but the disciples don’t really do anything special. They organize the people and they hand out the food. That’s it.

And then, they gather the broken pieces.Read More »Broken Pieces–Mark 6: 35-44, Part 1