Be Attentive to Sacred Pronouncements
1 Not everything spoken by man deserves special attention. But when God speaks, there is vital reason to listen. (Deut. 28:1, 2) Thankfully, inspired penmen recorded “the sacred pronouncements of God” for our benefit. (Rom. 3:2) The upcoming district convention will provide precious opportunities to hear these pronouncements as they are read and discussed. How can you be especially attentive?
2 Arrive Early Each Morning: Imagine the excitement of the Israelites when they were told to meet Jehovah at Mount Sinai to hear his Law! (Ex. 19:10, 11, 16-19) If you have a similar attitude about receiving Jehovah’s instruction at the district convention, you will make arrangements to arrive early each day. We cannot listen to the entire program if we walk in late and disturb others by our efforts to find seats. Doors will open at the convention site at 8:00 a.m., and the program begins at 9:30 a.m. each day.
3 Even some who arrive early are not in their seats for the start of the session. Why is this? They wait until the chairman introduces the opening song before they stop conversing with friends and start making their way to their seats. We should take note that several minutes before the opening song of each session, the chairman will be seated on the platform while introductory Kingdom music is played. This is our signal that it is time to be seated! Then, when the opening song is called for, we will be ready to join in singing praises to Jehovah.
4 Listen as a United Family: When sacred pronouncements were read to the congregated Israelites, families, including “little ones,” were to listen and learn. (Deut. 31:12) At our conventions, children should not be “let on the loose.” (Prov. 29:15) Parents, arrange for your entire family to sit together—teenagers included. Some parents wait until the opening song to take their young ones to the rest room. However, this would hardly teach children the great importance of songs and prayers in our worship. How much better it is to care for restroom needs before the start of each session if at all possible!
5 It will help us to listen if we get plenty of rest each night and avoid heavy meals during the day. Concentrate on what the speaker is saying. Refuse to allow your mind to wander. Follow along in the Bible when scriptures are read. Take brief notes. As each talk is being given, review in your mind what the speaker has said, and consider how you will apply the material. At the end of the day, discuss the program as a family. What points did each one enjoy? How can your family put this information to good use?
6 Show Respect for God’s Word: Conventions give us a fine opportunity to talk to friends and enjoy upbuilding association. By arriving early, we will have time to converse before the program starts. Some, though, engage in conversation during the program, mistakenly thinking that this causes little distraction in a large auditorium. Even when meetings are held in a large setting, it is a time to listen, just as when attending a meeting in the Kingdom Hall. The use of cellular phones, pagers, camcorders, and cameras should not be allowed to cause distractions during the program.
7 While Moses was receiving the Law from Jehovah, “he ate no bread and he drank no water.” (Ex. 34:28) Similarly, it would be inappropriate to eat or drink while convention sessions are in progress. Unless serious health factors are involved, wait until the “appointed time” for this.—Eccl. 3:1.
8 At some conventions, there continues to be a problem with many brothers and sisters and even young children milling about in the corridors during the sessions. Attendants will be instructed to ask such ones to return to the auditorium. Volunteers who are working in various departments should be seated in the audience as soon as their work has been completed. Unless volunteers are assigned to do essential work during the sessions, they should be in their seats, listening to the program. They should not linger in the departments, visiting with one another while the program is in session.
9 We would never want to become ‘dull in our hearing’ when listening to God’s Word. (Heb. 5:11) Let us therefore be resolved to show due respect by listening attentively as the sacred pronouncements from Jehovah are discussed at our upcoming district convention.