"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." - Joshua 24:15
This is a moment of changing leadership.
Joshua's work is over and he is making his farewell to the people whose leadership he has assumed after the death of Moses. They are "home", as it were. Wandering is over and the rest is up to them. He offers a clear choice. If you are looking for a God, he says, there are many options: that god served back in Ur of the Chaldees or a different one you have met here in this rich farmland of Canaan or the God who has traveled with us across the Sinai.
Joshua has no doubts. He declares his allegiance and we can imagine his household nodding their agreement. Every other household head has to make a similar choice.
Before you smile knowingly and say, "I don't have to worry about that," wait a second. When is the last time that you actually "chose God"? For Joshua, this is personal covenant renewal time and he erects a large stone to mark the spot where his little drama is enacted.
What false gods are trying to creep into our lives and push God to the fringe: career choices, short-term goals, friends. The false gods are not necessarily evil. They just move into prime position and God gets a back seat.
Joshua is asking: who is number one on your list? This is priority time to reclaim a long ago promise we made -- at our confirmation, at our adult baptism, at our affirmation of church membership.
Or are we still lost in that false "I did it all myself". Ah, yes, did you really?