SCRIPTURE: Shining Light Tells The Good Story 3:7-18 (Luke 3:7-18)
First Nations Version, an Indigenous Translation of the New Testament
7 Large crowds of people were coming out to hear Gift of Goodwill (John) and have him perform the purification ceremony. He noticed some of the spiritual leaders in the crowd and warned them, “You nest of poisonous snakes!… 8 Prove to others by the way you live that you have returned to the good road. Do not think you can say, ‘Father of Many Nations (Abraham) is our ancestor.’ Do you not know that the Great Spirit can make these stones into his children? 9 The tomahawk is at the root of the trees. The ones that have no good fruit will be cut down and tossed into the fire.”
10 When the crowds heard his words, they were afraid and asked, “What should we do?”
11 He answered, “If you have two blankets, give one to someone who has none, and the one with food should share it.”
12 There were tribal tax collectors who came to participate in the ceremony who asked him, “Wisdomkeeper, what should we do?”
13 “Collect no more taxes than the People of Iron (Romans) permit,” he answered “To take more is to steal from the people and dishonor the Great Spirit.”
14 When the lodge soldiers heard this, they said, “What about us? What can we do?”
“Do not use fear or violence to force money from people or accuse them falsely,” he answered, “and be satisfied with your pay.”
15 When the people heard these words they began to have hope. They were pondering in their hearts, “Could Gift of Goodwill (John) be the Chosen One?”
16 He gave them this answer, “I perform the purification ceremony with water, but there is one coming who is greater and more powerful than I.”
He paused for a moment and softened his voice.
Then he said, “I am not even worthy to bend low and untie his moccasins.”
Then he lifted his hands and cried out with a loud voice.
“He is the one who will perform the purification ceremony with the fire of the Holy Spirit! 17 He will separate the grain from the husks. His harvest basket is in his hands. He will store the good grain in his barn; the husks will burn away.”
18 With many more words Gift of Goodwill (John) warned and encouraged the people with the good story of Creator’s good road.