From the vine

By now most of the members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo should have finished partaking of the Holy Supper. Every since we were baptised we have been told that this is one of the most sacred events in the church and so we should never joke about it or make fun of it. And I agree. However some Ministers sure make it difficult for the rest of us.

Since it is a holy event, the Ministers (and Head Deacons as well) should do everything they can to avoid creating anything that would bring a smile or a smirk to the faces of brethren. I am talking about the missteps or should I simply say the errors they commit during this holiest of holy occasions.

I am NOT talking about the regular silliness some ministers saying things like “Please bless our Executive Minister, the most important man on earth”. I am talking about the term that is used in the prayers around this time of year. That is, when they are praying. It becomes both a challenge and a tongue-twister for many who attempt this mine-field. Can you guess what I am simply referring to? Ready? When the Minister (and oftentimes the Head Deacon) struggles to pray for the juice that “symbolises the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ”. It is such a sacred moment don’t you think? When you think of the symbolism and the importance of this moment that we drink to remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And yet, when these moments come, instead of us being fully immersed in the moment, we are distracted by the bloopers of those praying. Here is what comes out, and many of you know this…

“Please bless the Juice of the vine.”
“Bless the Fruit of the Vine”
“We shall now drink the Fruit of the Juice of the vine”
and who knows what other variations others may have heard.

Let’s clear this up.
The juice of the vine is actually water. When you cut open the vine, water from the xylem and phloem (Biology 101) is transported along with the nutrients that the plant needs.
The fruit of the vine is the actual grape.
The Fruit of the juice of the vine… mmm I don’t think that actually exists. Well, I guess… it would be eventually the grape, after the water is transported… and then it.. never mind. It’s not right. Cannot justify it. Sorry

The actual term that many are trying to say is the Juice of the Fruit of the Vine. In short, grape juice. So if some are struggling to say the juice of the fruit of the vine, why not simply say Grape Juice? Yes, it may not be as poetic in the prayers. It may not sound as biblical, because we can’t really imagine the Lord Jesus yelling “Everyone drink up the grape juice!”. It does not have that solemn feel to it. But that’s what it is. So for the sake of avoiding big bloopers, why not simplify it and say grape juice? It is not wrong. It IS the juice of the fruit of the vine. It is accurate. Just don’t say “drink the Welch”. That would be like my dad saying “Get the Kodak.”

And let me add, to answer those who did that episode in Net25 saying that it is ok to have honey wine because they drank wine in the Bible. What they drank was, grape juice. Wine is fermented grape juice. The term for fermented grape juice or wine is OINOS. None of those who wrote about the Holy Supper used the term oinos, meaning it was not wine or fermented juice that they used; it was grape juice, or as we have discussed, the juice of the fruit of the vine. It is not alcoholic. So for that program on NET25 to say it is ok to have wine, that is against the very doctrines we have been taught. Is NET25 still the T.V. station of the Church of Christ? Or is that now also run by the MDC? Somehow nowadays, when they say “oh it’s the MDC!” It’s ok to do the worldly things (If you don’t know what I am talking about, please see the previous article “Looking at the MDC”)

Back to the Holy Supper. What is different about the Holy Supper this year from many previous years, is that, as it has become in the last several months, many a prayer for EVM. What is sad, is that this occasion is supposed to be in commemoration of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. THE VERY PURPOSE OF THE HOLY SUPPER! And yet in the prayers, Jesus is hardly mentioned. Nevertheless, prayers for the well being of EVM is never forgotten! From the opening prayer to the last prayer. What is even sadder, immediately after partaking of the Holy Supper, when ministers would often mention that we will now “proclaim the Lord’s death” by sharing our faith, by telling people about His sacrifices, it is replaced with “Please bless EVM!!”. No mention of “Proclaiming the Lord’s death”. Was it only our locale who did this? Did the others remember Jesus and less of EVM? You tell me. I might have just revealed myself! (Probably some Ministers are thinking, “did I mention it in my prayer?”)

Well, that is about it for this year’s Holy Supper. Until next year when they will once again be challenged with the vine of the juicy fruit. I hope they find ways to get around it or perfect it.

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4 thoughts on “From the vine

  1. I was surprise that this year Minister who’s on the tribunal leading the Holy Supper is not wearing their all white Americana to show the holiness of the occasion. They not even show uniformity on what to wear, blue, gray & black its seems that Holy Supper attire is also being twisted & change. You can also notice the ribbon they use. Its just simple & plain not long way back before there’s graphic presentation of grape vine & grape fruits. Are they taking this event as no longer important.

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  2. Luckily for our locale we had no mention of EVM during our holy supper prayers. I noticed that as well the attire of the ministers and deacons were no longer wearing white? Strange.

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  3. actually in our locale, (I do not want to give any hint which one to protect the minister) the santa cena I attended was one of the best one’s I have attended in recent memory. from the singing of the choir (maybe because the hymns are not leaning towards the sanggu and evm like the ones from the previous year end thanksgiving) which was very spiritual to the preaching and the prayer of the officiating minister. the preaching was so spiritual that you can hear the congregation and the choir sobbing especially when the minister admonished everyone to remember their christian values through the troubles that we are experiencing and do not fall into the evil of saying bad things about another person and never copy others who commit vile acts of assassinating another persons character. he is obviously not talking to the defenders that have been summarily expelled because they are not in attendance, but he is referring to brethren who fell into sin by doing this horrible act of attacking the person of another without basis.
    I tell you, it has been a long time that i have seen a minister so genuine in what he is preaching. there were genuine tears and sobs coming from him during his preaching and during his prayer that the congregation was so solemn and you can see tears freely flowing from most of the brethren. I for one soaked up my hankie with tears because it was that powerful. the best part, he did not mention evm or the sanggu in his closing prayer. it’s was all about the Father and Christ and asking for forgiveness and giving praise. it was not acting too but really genuine. I guess he also inspired our resident minister, who is somewhat pro evm, in his prayer for the juice that it was spiritual and purely about the occasion of the holy supper and did not have any mention of the most important dude in the world.

    I have always admired the minister who officiated. he used to be a high ranking official before they got the idea of entrusting the church to these young, inexperienced, ass kissing STF boys.

    I admire him more now that I have proven that he has not been swayed from the true teaching and has not sold out like AAT.

    there is still hope brethren. while there are still true ministers out there, there is still hope for us. Bro Felix was only one man when he started, with God’s help we can return to the true worship of God.

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  4. Brother FROMTHEEDGE – what you described is exactly how the prayers in our Holy Supper in our local was done. Each & every prayer included the well being of EVM, his family & the council. The worst one was the prayer for the juice of the vine…uh, I meant the Juice of the Fruit of the Vine! The minister even prayed to safeguard the plane EVM is in with his many travel in America! How inappropriate!
    As for the Holy Supper’s uniform not being uniformed (50 shades grey, some black – white is gone) here in Mid Atlantic/NESB it hasn’t been white since last year. I guess it’s an admission that the Holy Supper is no longer that sacred or Holy, also reflect there is no longer unity because as we all know white symbolizes purity/ holiness /cleanliness.

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