Here Paul, reflecting on his life of service to and for God, calmly faces the certainty of his encroaching death. I like the term “libation,” a pouring out of a liquid offering to God; literally, in Paul’s case, his earthly life’s blood. He gives it willingly and freely. He has fought for Christ in his life, he has finished his earthly life’s covenant with God, he has been steadfast in his faith.
This, of course, reminds me of Christ’s freely pouring out his life’s blood for us on the cross, also willingly. This, in turn, reminds me of God’s becoming one of us in Jesus, again freely and willingly, out of a never-ending love and mercy for us.
As we approach All Saints’ Sunday this week, I plan to spend some time meditating in gratitude on those members of my own family who have gone on before, having finished their race, and reading about some of our faith’s saints who have given their lives as a “libation” to God. Thanks be to God for them.
Lord, help me be a small libation to you in service daily. Amen. — JB