In a sermon for Christmas Eve Laurence reflects on the shepherds who were near Bethlehem when Jesus was born. Who were they? Who would they be today, in our city? Reading is Luke 2:1-20. Recording starts with the reading of the Gospel, followed by the hymn "Joy to the world". The sermon starts at 6:05.
Laurence reads a poem by Howard Thurman:
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.
- "The Work of Christmas" in The Mood of Christmas & Other Celebrations (1985)
Thurman also wrote:
Where refugees seek deliverance that never comes
And the heart consumes itself as if it would live,
Where children age before their time
And life wears down the edges of the mind,
Where the old man sits with mind grown cold,
While bones and sinew, blood and cell, go slowly down to death,
Where fear companions each day's life,
And Perfect Love seems long delayed.
Christmas is waiting to be born:
In you, in me, in all mankind.
- "Christmas Is Waiting to be Born" in The Mood of Christmas & Other Celebrations (1985)