Spanish Lesson


Reverend Greene was on fire with the word of God that Sunday morning. He preached hell-fire, brimstone, equating current happenings on Earth with the Book of Revelation.

“I was reading the newspaper last Tuesday morning,” he thundered, “And I saw where large earthquakes are striking the outer rim of the Pacific Ocean. They call this area ‘The Ring of Fire.’ And it has scientist wondering if the ‘big one’ is on its way.”

“And the way I see this in my mind is a sudden movement and the ground opens up and it will look like the Earth has suddenly developed a glowing halo, a crown of radiating light being tossed into the dark universe,” he commented, trying to describe what his vision of such an event might look like.

He added later in his commentary, “And should this happen, COVID will be the lesser concern.”

For half-an hour Reverend Greene worked the all scientific implications over, and until he saw the heads of his now-bored church members begin to bobble with sleepiness. It was the moment he wanted, needed, in order to bring his deeper message to life.

He paused for effect and strode from his pulpit across the raised floor and back again. The good reverend looked, to his many church members, as a man possessed of the word of God.

Gathering himself in front of his pulpit he began: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” (Rev 19:11)

His voice boomed through the meeting hall and those that were near sleep jumped at the echo and reverberation. It was exactly how Reverend Greene saw it, part-theater and all God Almighty.

He slapped his open palm on the pulpit, making a snapping noise and again the body of Christ jumped in unison, then he added as he scanned his notes, “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but himself.” (Rev 19:12)

Churchgoers were standing, others waved their arms, hands high above their heads and some said ‘Amen,’ others gave small prayers. As this occurred, Reverend Greene looked into the faces of those before him, certain that his message, that God’s message, was touching the very souls of these Christians.

“And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God,” (Rev 19:13) Reverend Green began with a boom in his voice, but a sudden switch happened and it sounded as if he had run out of steam.

At first congregants braced themselves for another surprise from the minister, but after ten seconds, when nothing came, they began to whisper among themselves. The preacher seemed transfix, stuck where he had halted in his sermon.

After half a minute, the woman who played the organ every Sunday morning got up, walked over to Reverend Greene and touching his elbow, asked, “Is everything okay?”

He jumped with a start, “Yes, Miss Gladys. Everything’s good.”

Looking up, he smiled at those gathered before him. He could see their puzzlement and concern in their faces.

“It’s okay,” he said. “I jus’ realized something…some might even say I had a revelation from God.”

The murmurs began to increase. One woman asked her husband, “Is he losing his mind?” He shushed her.

“And it was such a fine sermon, too” Reverend Greene sighed, “But evidently it isn’t the right sermon for this Sunday.”

He smiled and lifted his arms and with palms outward, said, “Peace be with you. And they said…”

Some of the members muttered ‘amen,’ as they stood to leave.

“Peace be with you,” Reverend Greene fairly shouted, “And they all said…”

“Amen!” rose the voice of the attendees in unison.

As he watch the last person pass through the doors, he returned to the pulpit and examined his notes. He hadn’t seen that short sentence until a few minutes ago, and it left him stunned when he first read it.

They were words that hadn’t been there when he printed his notes up for that Sunday. Reverend Greene reread it, “The Spanish word for today is corona which means crown.”

He folded the paper up neatly, slipping it into his shirt pocket, while saying “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matt 24:36)

Bu the Reverend however, was certain about how that day would arrive.

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