Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem; then he called the elders, leaders, judges and scribes of Israel, and they presented themselves before God. Then Joshua said to all the people, ‘If you will not serve the Lord, choose today whom you wish to serve, whether the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are now living. As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord.’
The people answered, ‘We have no intention of deserting the Lord and serving other gods! Was it not the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors out of the land of Egypt, the house of slavery, who worked those great wonders before our eyes and preserved us all along the way we travelled and among all the peoples through whom we journeyed? What is more, the Lord drove all those peoples out before us, as well as the Amorites who used to live in this country. We too will serve the Lord, for he is our God.’
First reading for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Forty years on from leaving Egypt, Israel seems to have learnt its lessons will.
But look closer in the book of Joshua and the associated books of the Old Testament, and things are not quite as the people say they are, nor will they be.
They talk the talk, but are not so good at walking the walk.
- Where do you find you hesitate and vacillate?
Ancient carvings. Cairo Museum. Egypt. (C) Allen Morris, 2004.