Jackpot. Chapter 16
José takes to the pulpit like a fish to water. His time roaming the desert, his financial success, his poetic stardom, his dealings with the devil in the city of angels––it’s all been one long march towards his true calling. Church attendance is up three hundred percent and the town is filled with jubilee, its inhabitants reinvigorated by José’s message of hope, introspection, and community, but especially by his prophecies. Though vague and abstract, they carry promise of imminent glories, epic battles of the spirit, and incoming salvation for all who believe. Everyone has their own interpretation, and every Saturday night drunken fights break out in the bars over who’s right and who’s wrong. But the dust always settles and the sun always rises, and Sunday morning, in the presence of José, the brawling disciples realize once again that their interpretations were all incomplete and in fact don’t contradict each other in the slightest. God’s Word is beyond human language, José tells them, but they’ve all got to try their best to understand it. His sermons are mere signposts pointing the way, guiding the flock home when they wander astray, returning them to the path of righteousness having learned from their past mistakes, ready to make new ones, trusting in José and the old pastor, but mostly José, and God, to deliver them from ignorance and sin.
One Sunday morning as José’s getting ready for church, Eliza reads something disturbing in the paper.
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