Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Back in the seventh century B.C.E., the prophet Ezekiel was given an amazing vision. He saw a gigantic vehicle, a celestial chariot, under the control of the Sovereign of the universe. Most impressive about that vehicle was the way it moved. It swept along at lightning speed, even when changing direction
That vision reminds us that the celestial part of Jehovah’s universal organization is always on the move. And the earthly part? The past service year has clearly shown that Jehovah is moving his organized people on earth at an amazing pace as well!
Here in the United States, members of the Bethel family have been busy moving out of Brooklyn and into the new world headquarters, at Warwick, New York, as well as to other complexes and into the field. Bethelites at a number of other branches around the world are likewise busy with building, remodeling, consolidating, or moving to new locations. What about you? Even if you have not been busy moving physically, you have no doubt been on the move in other ways.
The Governing Body is deeply touched and encouraged to see that God’s people around the world have been busier than ever as they keep pace with Jehovah’s organization. Many have moved to serve where the need is greater. Others have moved into a new avenue of service, such as a foreign-language field. Many have tried a form of witnessing that was new and unfamiliar to them. Many more have expanded their service in yet other ways. And all faithful Christians, including the elderly and the infirm, are loyally running the race for life
Be assured that the spirit you show does not go unnoticed by Jehovah. (Heb. 6:10) Your willing attitude makes us think of Abraham and Sarah. In his 70s, Abraham moved out of the Chaldean city of Ur and led his family to faraway Canaan, where he would live in tents for the remaining hundred years of his life. What a willing spirit he and his dear wife showed!
Are you showing that spirit? All of you who are enduring faithfully in these challenging times are doing what Jesus told us to do. He said: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit.”
Even Jesus’ use of the word “go” suggests that we must be moving, active. How gratifying it is to see how much has been accomplished by Christ’s zealous followers during the past year! It is easy to see that Jehovah’s mighty hand of blessing has been on the work of declaring the Kingdom good news in all nations.
Many are responding to the message. The peak number of publishers this past year was 8,340,847, while our Bible studies averaged 10,115,264 each month. Clearly, the celestial chariot is on the move, and so are you! Keep up your fine work in the short period of time left before Jehovah closes the door to salvation.
How fitting that our yeartext for 2017 is “Trust in Jehovah and do what is good”! (Ps. 37:3) When you obey those words, doing what is good by rendering sacred service to Jehovah, you are showing your trust in him. Please always keep in mind that you are never alone. Jesus’ words will ever hold true: “Look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”
YEARTEXT FOR 2017:
“Trust in Jehovah and do what is good”
Rest assured that Jehovah will continue to bless your faithful service. Whether your contribution is small or great, what matters to Jehovah is that it represents your best and is given with the right motive. All such gifts touch his heart and bring his smile of approval. (2 Cor. 9:6, 7) So continue drawing close to your loving Father through regular prayer, study of God’s Word, attendance at Christian meetings, and active participation in the ministry.
Until this “short period of time” allotted to the Devil runs out, that wicked rebel is bent on using every means at his disposal to divert us from our course of remaining steadfast in our integrity to Jehovah. (Rev. 12:12) Stay close to Jehovah, and the Devil will fail in his every attempt. (Ps. 16:8) Please know that we love you very much and appreciate your assistance in caring for the Lord’s Kingdom interests in these last days.
Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses