I grew up Lutheran in a small Michigan town. Being close to catholic we lived on guilt..well my parents did religion wise anyway. Not real Catholic guilt or, God forbid, Jewish guilt, but some.

I went away to Valparaiso University (before Michigan State) and, being a Lutheran School of good news and calmness, I found out a lot of things about myself and religion...some good some not so good. Before then, and at times since, I cringe at tele-evangelists. The Jack van Impe's of the world make me nuts. The real deals - and I count Joel Osteen in this mix - don't. The later group extends hope and compassion. They say they would offer a hand up and I do believe they would. This brings me to the "withered hand" parable.

John Adams wrote this piece and put in a gospel-like reader for the reading. You can like or not like, enjoy or not,...but there is a certain inner peace to this that is compelling and worthy.