Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. (Philippians 2:17, ESV)I am going to borrow from the words of D.A. Carson, in his book Basics for Believers (a commentary on Philippians) to speak to the symbolism of the drink offering:
"In this metaphor, the actions of the Philippians constitute the primary 'sacrifice.' They give themselves to Christ and commit themselves to pleasing him, whatever the cost. Then, if Paul has to give up his life, his sacrifice is merely a kind of libation poured out on top of their sacrifice. Such a libation is meaningless unless it is poured out on a more substantial sacrifice. But their Christian living is that sacrifice; Paul's martyrdom -- should it occur -- or the pains, sufferings, and persecutions he faces as an apostle are the complementary drink offering poured over theirs."As a Pastor, I am aware of this. There is much sacrifice in ministry, though I have not come near the sacrifices that Paul made. Yet I get that idea... when the people of my church work hard in their Christian life, I do feel as if any sacrifice that I have made is just a drink offering, poured on top of theirs. My sacrifices, of time and stress and study, draw their significance from the sacrifice of the people that I am ministering to.
Let your life, also, be a living sacrifice, not only for the sake of Christ, but to also give meaning and depth to the sacrifices of your pastor and those others who have taught you and ministered to you.