“Empty Boxes” is a special presentation of The Lutheran Hour®. Hosted by Lutheran Hour Speaker Rev. Dr. Michael Ziegler, this original story invites listeners on a chilly car-ride home after a candlelight Christmas Eve service that becomes a turning point for a teenage boy—an enlightening moment he will return to for years to come.
A single question: what are you thinking about? A nostalgic man reflects back when he realized why, not just Christmastime, but all of life, is such a let-down—glimmering wrapping, nothing on the inside. Ecclesiastes calls it meaningless or “vanities of vanities.” How does one put a word to something that isn’t there? But then, maybe what we’re searching for can’t fit in a box?
Listen to "Empty Boxes" Promo:
The complete episode will be available online starting December 15, 2023.
Rev. Dr. Jason Broge – Writer and Narrator
Rev. Dr. Jason Broge is the senior director of design and development at Lutheran Hour Ministries. Jason began his career as a teacher and improv performer in Chicago before going on to receive his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary and Ph.D. in education from Saint Louis University. He was called back to Concordia Seminary where he spent seven years teaching and working with curriculum design and development, before coming to LHM in 2018. Jason and his wife Mary Jane reside in St. Louis, along with their four children.
Rev. Ron Rall – Retired Pastor
Rev. Dr. Ronald Rall currently serves as missionary in Papua, New Guinea and also as associate pastor at Timothy Lutheran Church, St. Louis. Ronald’s hobbies include coaching basketball, reading and bee keeping. Ronald and his wife, Mary Anne, have six children.
Rev. Dr. Michael Zeigler – Bible Study Pastor and Service Pastor
Rev. Dr. Michael Zeigler began as Speaker of The Lutheran Hour® in October 2018. He previously served as pastor of Epiphany Lutheran Church in St. Louis and currently also serves part-time as an Air Force Reserve officer. Dr. Zeigler and his wife Amy have four children.
Ashley Bayless - Ruth
Ashley Bayless, director of production at LHM, may not be driving teenagers yet, but she is a kid-toting, candlelight on Christmas Eve kind of gal. She lives in Spokane, WA with her husband and two boys.
Chris Macky - Usher
Chris Macky serves as LHM’s Instructional Designer, designing curriculum and other educational resources to encourage people in their faith. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and two teenagers.
Julie Atwood-Wise - Teacher
Julie Atwood-Wise is a lifelong Lutheran, who has worked for Lutheran Hour Ministries since 1995. She currently serves as Manager, Human Resources. Julie resides in St. Louis where she enjoys gardening, birdwatching and spending time with family.
Mark Eischer – Radio Announcer
Mark Eischer is the announcer and senior producer for “The Lutheran Hour.” He has been the voice of “The Lutheran Hour” since 1982. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and enjoys his 3 children and 2 grandchildren.
James Davis - Boy
James Davis is a 17-year old Senior at Lutheran High School South. James enjoys making music, playing sports and volunteering his time for good causes.
Jeanine Davis - Girl
Jeanine Davis is a 14-year old Sophomore at Lutheran High School South. Jeanine enjoys writing poetry and spending time with good friends.
Parker Broge - Girl
Parker Broge is a 15-year-old Freshman at Lutheran High School South in Missouri. She plays guitar and enjoys being a part of her school’s swim team and theater program.