The church choir was singing "The First Noel" when the director stopped and reminded us how beautiful the song was. I was glad for the interruption, because even though I was singing the song, I was missing the beauty.
I wasn't noticing the intricacies of the harmonies. I wasn't even paying attention to the lyrics and the message of joy they were sharing. I was concentrating on singing the notes of a song I have sung since childhood and was missing the point.
It is easy to stop paying attention to the familiar because we know what is coming. Christmas is full of the familiar, from the songs we sing to the story we celebrate.
As we move into December, begin to be bombarded by carols and are reminded once again of the first Christmas, don't forget to pay attention. Stop yourself, look around and listen to the beauty of the familiar that infiltrates this extraordinary and holy season.