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: Some years ago, there was a small tribe of Native Americans who lived in the state of Mississippi. They lived along the banks of a very swift and dangerous river. The current was so strong that if somebody accidentally fell in, they would likely be swept away to their death downstream. One day this tribe was attacked by another hostile Indian tribe. They found themselves literally with their backs up against the treacherous river. They were greatly outnumbered. Their only chance for escape was to cross the current, which would mean sure death for the children, the elderly, the weak, and the ill and the injured… and likely death for many of the strong.


The leaders of the tribe huddled up to devise a plan. The logical thing, the reasonable thing, the expedient thing, the sensible thing was to leave the weak ones behind. They were going to be killed anyway… why risk losing the strong in a futile effort to save the others? That was the rational answer but they couldn’t do it! Instead, they chose to be extravagant in their generosity… and they decided that those who were strong would pick up the weaker ones and put them on their shoulders. So, the little children, the elderly, those who were ill or wounded, were all carried on the backs of the stronger. With great fear, they waded out into the rapid waters of the river and they were met with a great surprise. To their astonishment, they discovered that the weight on their shoulders enabled them to keep their footing through the treacherous current… and to make it safely to the other side. Their own extravagant generosity saved them. What they did was not the reasonable thing to do, but it was the right thing to do.


The point is: If you who are strong and comfortable and well-fed, will reach out in generosity and help somebody in need, you will be surprised to discover that the life you save may also be your own. In words and action, Jesus taught us that sometimes it’s O.K. to be extravagant in our generosity.

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