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The North is the South

The North is the South Rob Gieselmann, Advent 2B, December 10, 2017
Have you ever noticed that some things at Ascension seem backwards? Entering the “Old Transept”, from the offices, a sign on the door tells you that you are entering the South Transept. Thing is, this “South Transept” is located on the north side of the building. The South Transept, you see, is called the north transept, the south transept is by corollary called the north transept. Similarly, the altar faces west, yet we pretend that it faces east. We call this, “liturgical east”, because in the old days, churches were built facing east, in anticipation of Christ’s return.
Also - the front of the church - have you noticed? – faces the back of the property, rather than the front. The front should be streetside, not the back. The back is front, and the front is back. The last shall be first, and the first shall last. Ascension’s actual address - is 800 South Northshore. South Northshore – if not ironic, the address is at …

Repent the Day Before You Die

Repent The Day Before You Die Rob Gieselmann Pent 27A, Nov. 9, 2014
I was the best man at a wedding in rural Georgia, once – held in a clapboard Baptist Church.It was May, and the church was not air-conditioned. The bride asked for tall candles to be placed throughout the room. Only – the church, which was already sultry, grew hotter from burning candles, in that Georgia sun.
Halfway through the ceremony, it had grown so hot that the candles began melting sideways – flames shot up and the candles turned upside down. One candle lit the bride’s veil, which I saw in time to put out – meanwhile the other groomsmen frantically ran around the room putting out the flames.
*Pastor William Willimon tells his own story about an old Georgia Baptist church. His was a funeral, and the Baptist preacher lit into the congregation – shouting and fuming, flailing his arms: “It’s too late for Joe! He might have wanted to do better in life, but no more. He might have wanted to straighten up, but now he can…