Here’s a readers’ theatre setting of Luke 3: 7-18, the gospel reading for the third Sunday of Advent (Year C).
Readers’ Theatre: The Ministry of John the Baptist
Luke 3: 7-18
One: The crowds began to stream out from the villages and towns
to be baptized by John the Baptist at the Jordan.
Two: You brood of snakes!
Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath?
Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins
and turned to God.
Don’t just say to each other,
‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’
That means nothing, for I tell you,
God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.
Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised,
ready to sever the roots of the trees.
Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit
will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
One: The crowds asked, “What should we do?”
Two: The person who has two shirts must share with the person who has none.
And the person with food must share with the one in need.
One: Some tax collectors were among those in the crowd seeking baptism.
They asked John,
“Teacher, what should we do?”
Two: Stop overcharging people.
Only collect what you must turn over to the Romans.
One: “What about us?” some soldiers asked.
“What should we do?”
Two: Don’t extort money from people, or make false accusations.
And be content with your pay.
One: John’s bold message captured public attention,
and many began wondering if John himself might be the promised Messiah.
John answered them, saying:
Two: I baptize you with water;
but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—
so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave
and untie the straps of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork.
Then he will clean up the threshing area,
gathering the wheat into his barn
but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.
One: John preached with many other provocative figures of speech
and so conveyed God’s message to the people—
the time had come to rethink everything.
~ Luke 3: 7-19, with credit to both the New Living Translation and The Voice.