December 10, 2023

Bone Carriers

Exodus 13:17-22

Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath.

—  Exodus 13:19

A friend of mine loves carrying bones. Huh?

In the Bible, when God calls Moses to lead the people out of Egypt, they kept a promise by taking Joseph’s bones with them to be buried in the promised land. So for over 40 years it was someone’s job to carry the bones. Their names are not mentioned with Moses, Aaron, Miriam, or Joshua, and yet they helped to fulfill an important promise. And when the people got to the promised land, Joseph’s bones were buried (Joshua 24:32). Bone carriers are the people who do the unglamorous work that helps to hold faith communities together. At Roseland Christian Ministries we found a medical supply company and purchased a human femur replica. We passed around this bone to each other at staff meetings, recognizing people who do the work that often gets overlooked.

Smoky picks up trash outside our building. Bone carrier. Bruce is always fixing whatever is broken. Bone carrier. Kisha puts in extra time in many areas that go unnoticed. Bone carrier. Tamika, DeWitt, Ty, David, Mary, Kadie, Steve, Sandra, Megan, Kayla—all bone carriers.

God’s kingdom takes all kinds of people with a variety of gifts. I’m grateful for the carriers of Joseph’s bones, and I’m grateful for the bone carriers here in Roseland. Who are the bone carriers in your community?

Lord, thank you for all the people who do the unseen work that keep communities thriving. May we honor and serve you in all we do. Amen.

About the author — Joe Huizenga

Joe Huizenga serves as pastor and executive director of Roseland Christian Ministries in Chicago, Illinois. He and his wife, Cate, have four children.

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