In the Church of Christ, my maternal grandparents’ church, there is no instrumental music to wrap around singing voices. Church-goers sing a Capella because believers are sure there is nothing sweeter than the human voice lifted in song.
My grandfather had a strong booming baritone, and his voice rang out above most others. The sound rousted my soul.
I remember one Wednesday evening in particular. Caught up in the spiritual moment I sang “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, jingle all the way…” to the tune of “Onward Christian Soldiers.” My grandfather looked down at me and grinned broadly. He slipped his arm around my shoulders and held the hymnal so I could see better. We both knew I couldn’t read, but it didn’t matter.
Just as the members of the Church of Christ didn’t need musical instruments to sing, I didn’t need the words to the hymn. It was a holy moment between grandfather and granddaughter, and surely God smiled at the sight.