How Does it Work that ‘Jesus Died for Our Sins?’
Tweeting the Meeting: Week of March 28, 2022

The First Physical Meeting in Two Years

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about returning to the Hall. I’m starting to get up there in years. Zoom is convenient. You don’t have to travel. You don’t have to worry about the attire of your lower half. 

But no sooner did I walk through the door than I knew it was the right move. Our attendance was very solid and enthusiasm ran high. The hybrid Zoom tie-in was seamless. 

The speaker read that familiar passage of 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Though he did not dwell on “not open to any agreement,” it resonated with me. There is scarcely any point today, no matter how trivial, that people to not debate over and even argue to the nth degree. I can see why some avoid the news, though I am not one of them. It’s exhausting. 

It was so refreshing being in that Hall where not a trace of that contentious spirit was to be found. It is not even that everyone agrees—they just know enough how to yield and not to squabble. Given the state of Covid in our community today, I personally think the strong mask recommendation is a bit dumb. But the majority apparently does not feel that way. I’ve been asked to wear one, so I do. It’s not that big of a deal.

Of course, given the size of the crowd I did begin to think maybe its not such a bad idea after all. I have not been in such close proximity to large groups of people in two years.

I also wasn’t sure how easy it would be to avoid handshakes. I like not having been sick in two years and I had resolved not to do it. But some in-your-face people are very insistent and the alternative elbow bump just seems too stupid to initiate. But it fact, a forearm glance proved pretty easy to do. Some shook hands with others. Some didn’t. It wasn’t any big deal.

Alas, not all is peachy. I did see something to complain about. The speaker played a two-three minute video, and afterwards everyone clapped!

I’m not playing this game anymore. I know how it starts . Someone well-respected thinks it is fine to “show appreciation.” He claps and others follow suit. People usually follow suit. I know this from the rare occasions that the music was not cued up and the attending servant can’t find it. If I knew the tune, I’d just belt it out. You’re only out there a split second or two before others follow suit. (It’s an unsettling split second, though—what if they don’t?)

In the past I’ve given two or three half-hearted claps. No more. It’s silly. The video doesn’t know you’re clapping for it. We don’t clap every time some gives a demonstration on the platform. The Watchtower reader doesn’t earn an applause. It is enough to applaud the speaker, for that is customary and is the way things are done everywhere. 

I don’t squabble over such things but neither do I have to follow suit. It is sort of like when brothers approach stage by disappearing behind that quarter wall and then appearing again. That drives me nuts. Just walk up on the platform. Do it right, brothers!

Ah well. This is our version of problems. A bit less serious than those that hamstring the greater world, I think.


***The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'


Steve Nice

Agree about the clapping Tom. It has always been silly. However, I now do it instinctively, feeling that some still possibly see me as a potential apostate and not clapping may be a confirmation of their suspicions.
During lockdown we have all been quite given to visibly and enthusiastically applaud the kids when they comment. I did that yesterday at the 'being there' meeting. I found I was on my own.

[Hi Steve: Well, I wouldn’t recommend you frown. But if you’re ready with a ‘it just feels weird. the video doesn’t know I’m clapping for it’ you should allay any busybody’s concerns. Or just give a single clap or two, as I have in the past.]

The comments to this entry are closed.