Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18 (NRSV)
Chapter 24Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. Verse 2And Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors-Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor-lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. Verse 14"Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
Verse 15Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Verse 16Then the people answered, "Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; Verse 17for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; Verse 18and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God."
We have a framed wall-hanging inside the entrance to our home, which is common to many households. It reads: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Maybe you have this above your door as well. But where does it come from? It comes from the Old Testament leader Joshua, the successor to Moses. In his farewell address to the people of Israel, delivered before his death, he reminded the people of all that God had done for them—leading God’s people from the days of Abraham and Sarah, out of slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. As Joshua looked back on this journey, and looked forward to the future after his death, he implored his people to choose wisely as to whom they would serve. But as for him and his household, Joshua would choose the Lord.
Joshua’s question comes to all of us in many ways today. Considering all that God has done for you and me, guiding us through all of life’s challenges, whom will we continue to serve?
I thank you God, for all that you have done in guiding me, my family, and our faith community through life’s challenges. Help me and my household to keep our promise to serve you in all that we say and do. Amen.