You Have Cause for Rejoicing
FROM the tiniest living cell to colossal galaxies grouped into clusters and superclusters, creation reflects organization. This is hardly surprising, for the Creator ‘is not a God of disorder.’ (1 Cor. 14:33) God’s arrangement for worship is also impressive. Consider what Jehovah has done. He has formed into one universal organization hundreds of millions of intelligent creatures—physical as well as spiritual—having free will, united in pure worship. How magnificent!
In ancient Israel, the earthly part of God’s organization was symbolized by Jerusalem, where Jehovah’s temple was located and his anointed king resided. One Israelite captive in Babylon expressed his feelings toward the holy city this way: “Let my tongue stick to my palate, if I were not to remember you, if I were not to make Jerusalem ascend above my chief cause for rejoicing.”—Ps. 137:6.
Is that how you feel about God’s organization today? Does it bring more joy to you than anything else? Do your children understand the history and function of the earthly part of God’s organization? Do they appreciate that they are part of a worldwide brotherhood of Jehovah’s Witnesses? (1 Pet. 2:17) Why not implement the following suggestions in your Family Worship evening in order to enhance your family’s appreciation for Jehovah’s organization?
Recount “the Days of Long Ago”
Each year, Israelite families assembled to celebrate the Passover. When the festival was instituted, Moses instructed the people: “In case your son should inquire of you later on, saying, ‘What does this mean?’ then you must say to him, ‘By strength of hand Jehovah brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slaves.’” (Ex. 13:14) Jehovah’s dealings with the Israelites were not to be forgotten history. Certainly, many Israelite fathers followed Moses’ command. Generations later, one Israelite prayed: “O God, with our ears we have heard, our forefathers themselves have recounted to us the activity that you performed in their days, in the days of long ago.”—Ps. 44:1.
To a young person today, the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses over the last 100 years or so may also seem like “the days of long ago.” How can you bring these events to life for your offspring? To do so, some parents use Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, the Yearbook, life stories published in our journals, and other reports of theocratic history, including our new DVD about God’s people in modern times. Videos relating the persecution of our brothers in the former Soviet Union and Nazi Germany teach families to rely on Jehovah during trials. Include such material for your Family Worship evening. That will bolster the faith of your children in case they face challenges to their integrity.
A lecture about history, however, may quickly bore young minds. So get your children involved. For example, you might ask your son to choose a country that interests him, research the theocratic history of that land, and present some of what he learned to his family. In your congregation, there may be Christians with a long record of faithful service who might join you for family worship one evening. Perhaps your daughter could interview them and draw them out, having them tell their experiences. Or you can have your child draw pictures of theocratic milestones, such as the construction of a branch, an international convention, or the use of a phonograph in the house-to-house ministry.
Learn How “Each Part Does Its Work”
The apostle Paul compared the Christian congregation to “the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, [which] grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph. 4:16, New International Version) Learning about how the human body functions increases our appreciation and respect for our Creator. Similarly, when we examine how the worldwide congregation operates, we marvel at “the greatly diversified wisdom of God.”—Eph. 3:10.
Jehovah describes how his organization, including its heavenly part, operates. For example, he tells us that he first gave a revelation to Jesus Christ, who then “sent forth his angel and presented it in signs through him to his slave John, who bore witness.” (Rev. 1:1, 2) If God reveals how the invisible part of his organization functions, would he not want us to understand how “each part does its work” on earth?
For instance, if the circuit overseer will soon visit your congregation, why not consider with your family the duties and privileges of traveling overseers? How do they help each one of us? Other questions that might be considered include: Why is it important to report field service? How is God’s organization financed? How is the Governing Body organized, and how does it provide spiritual food?
When we understand how Jehovah’s people are organized, we benefit in at least three ways: Our appreciation is enhanced for those who work hard in our behalf. (1 Thess. 5:12, 13) We are motivated to support theocratic arrangements. (Acts 16:4, 5) Finally, our trust in those taking the lead is strengthened as we see the Scriptural basis for decisions and arrangements made.—Heb. 13:7.
“Inspect Its Dwelling Towers”
“March around Zion, you people, and go about it, count its towers. Set your hearts upon its rampart. Inspect its dwelling towers, in order that you may recount it to the future generation.” (Ps. 48:12, 13) The psalmist there urged the Israelites to see Jerusalem up close. Can you imagine the precious memories shared by Israelite families who had traveled to the holy city for annual festivals and had seen its magnificent temple? They must have been moved to “recount it to the future generation.”
Think of the queen of Sheba, who was at first skeptical of reports of Solomon’s splendid rule and great wisdom. What convinced her that the things she had heard were true? “I did not put faith in their words,” she said, “until I had come that my own eyes might see.” (2 Chron. 9:6) Yes, what we see with our “own eyes” can affect us deeply.
How can you help your children to see the wonders of Jehovah’s organization with their “own eyes”? If there is a branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses near your home, make an effort to visit it. Mandy and Bethany, for example, grew up some 900 miles (1,500 km) from the Bethel home in their country. Yet, their parents planned frequent trips to tour its facilities, especially while their daughters were growing up. “Before we toured Bethel, we thought it was rather stiff and only for old people,” they explain. “But we met young people who were working hard for Jehovah and enjoying it! We saw that Jehovah’s organization was more than just the little area where we lived, and each visit to Bethel gave us a dose of spiritual energy.” Seeing God’s organization up close motivated Mandy and Bethany to start pioneering, and they were even invited to serve at Bethel as temporary volunteers.
We have another way to “see” Jehovah’s organization, a way that was unavailable to ancient Israel. In recent years, God’s people have received videos and DVDs that take up various features of God’s organization, such as: Jehovah’s Witnesses—Organized to Share the Good News, Our Whole Association of Brothers, To the Ends of the Earth, and United by Divine Teaching. When you and your family see the hard work of Bethelites, relief workers, missionaries, and brothers who prepare and organize conventions, appreciation for the worldwide brotherhood will surely grow in your heart.
Every congregation of God’s people plays an important role in preaching the good news and supporting Christians in its locality. However, take time with your family to remember “the entire association of your brothers in the world.” This will help you and your children to remain “solid in the faith,” recognizing that you have cause for rejoicing.—1 Pet. 5:9.
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God’s Organization—A Worthy Topic for Study
We have abundant provisions to help all to learn more about the history and operation of Jehovah’s organization. The following questions may help you to get started:
☞ How did the work of modern-day traveling overseers get started?—Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, pages 222-227.
☞ What was significant about “Children’s Day” at the 1941 Theocratic Assembly?—Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, pages 86, 88.
☞ How does the Governing Body make decisions?—“Bearing Thorough Witness” About God’s Kingdom, pages 108-114.