Posts by Rev. Paul C. Ziemer

Posts by Rev. Paul C. Ziemer

Quiet Miracles

“Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.” John 2:7-9 Some might say that Jesus must have failed…

A Stranger Here

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35). Sometimes we might sing the hymn that declares, “I’m but a stranger here, heaven is my home.” Had it been written much earlier; Jesus might have sung it. We easily make the mental transition of Jesus being the eternal God to Jesus in the family of Mary and Joseph. Surely, that change…

Dreading Demons

“Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.” Mark 1:23-26 Demons are to be dreaded because they are dreadful. The Bible tells us that…

Pain on the Path

“And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Luke 2:35 The greetings of “Happy New Year!” may still echo in our memory. We were glad to receive them. But we know very well, they were not promises made to us. They were wishes. They express hope that the new year will lead us to happiness. However, from experience, we have learned that the path our life takes may lead us to some sad days. After all, “Happy Days” was…

Into Your Hands

My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Psalm 31:15 It was New Year’s Eve Day 1967. The Wisconsin family was watching on TV as the Dallas Cowboys invaded Lambeau Field to do battle with the Green Bay Packers. Sub-zero weather stressed the combatants. There might have been some frostbite, but no one died. A last-minute quarterback sneak gave the victory to the Green and Gold. The family cheered. The exhilaration…

Hopes and Fears

 “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid” (Luke 2:10). We don’t talk that way nowadays. We might say “very frightened” or “extremely afraid” or even “terrified.” We don’t say “sore afraid.” So, maybe that’s reason enough to still use those old words to describe the reaction of the Bethlehem shepherds to what they saw in the sky that first Christmas night. This…

The Casket under the Christmas Tree

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10). Funerals don’t mix well with the Christmas season. Yet, people die, and mourners do weep during the season that proclaims, “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people”. Death doesn’t take a holiday. While the loss of a loved one is always painful, the calls of “Merry Christmas!” may feel like they are twisting the knife that has stabbed the souls of those left…

An Empty Christmas

 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11). He proposed during the Great Depression. He apologized that he could not afford an engagement ring. She said she did not need one. He promised her that one day he would give her a ring—a beautiful one. It would be a sign of his faithful love. Twenty years slipped away. No ring yet. She didn’t give much thought to…

The Branch

“In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David!s line; he will do what is just and right in the land” (Jeremiah 33:15). Once, it was like a mighty oak. Its large limbs stretched upwards. Its leaves offered shade. It stood strong against the wind. It was expected to stand like this forever. It did not. It was cut down. Only a stump was left. This once-monumental tree was the Nation of Israel,…

Ten Hut!

“A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’” (Luke 3:4-6). He served at the time when Tiberius Caesar was Emperor at Rome. Pontius Pilate was governor of the Roman province called Judea. Herod ruled for the Romans over Galilee and…