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Radio Christmas music kicks off this week

More people are exposed to the Gospel during the Christmas season than any other time of year. But you’d be surprised to know how–Christmas music on the radio.

While some complain the music begins to play too early, most often before Thanksgiving, it remains one of the few mediums where anyone can tune in and hear a song about the virgin birth and sacrifice on the cross.

For Kansas City residents that opportunity began this week with several area stations switching over to Christmas music.

FM station KC 102.1 made the switch 5 p.m. on Thursday and will go 24/7 through midnight on Christmas Day.

102’s station programming directer admitted that people have been asking when the switch would happen for some time. “Since July,” stated Natalie Rush, program director for the station.

“We do it every year. In fact, we just held a huge guessing contest of exactly when we flip and someone who comes closest to exact time we flip today will win a six-night trip,” said Rush.

The winner will be warming themselves in Cancun this year.

The station said it will have all kind of prizes and money giveaways all month long.

Kansas City’s oldies station, KCMO 94.9, begins its 24/7 Christmas melodies today at 4 p.m.

Want to stream some music? Check out this video:

Rich Kirkpatrick is a writer, blogger, and author of the book “The Six Hats of the Worship Leader”.

Kirkpatrick says there are many songs that accurately portray the Gospel, many of them traditional carols. And they still get airplay along with modern Christmas music.

In addition to modern songs that share the Gospel message, here are some familiar carols Kirkpatrick says you’ll hear on the radio.

  1. Joy to the World – Lyrics of this well-known hymn are by Isaac Watts, written in 1719. The text is a paraphrase of Psalm 98 and was published under his Psalms of David Imitated. (1719). You can sing this song liturgically in July now that you know it is related to Psalm 98. But, mostly this is a Christmas hymn.
  2. O Come All Ye Faithful – “O Come All Ye Faithful” was originally written in Latin as “Adeste fideles laeti triumphantes” by Englishman John Francis Wade in the early 1700s. Frederick Oakley translated the song in 1802. Many competing translations exist, but this is the one that has survived in popularity.
  3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – This hymn was written by Charles Wesley in 1739. It had another title: “Hymn for Christmas Day.” We do not sing the original words, but an edited version by the great orator and evangelist George Whitfield which read: “Hark, how all the welkin [heaven] ring, Glory to the King of Kings.”
  4. Silent Night, Holy Night – This tune is by Franz Gruber and words by Joseph Mohr, later it was translated from German into English. It was written on Christmas Eve in 1818, and as the story goes, the organ was not working on the night it was composed, so a guitar was used. Today, a guitar still seems the best fit for this favorite.
  5. Go, Tell it On the Mountain – This is an adaptation of an African-American spiritual by John W. Work. He published this song in the early 1900s. Work was an early scholar of African-American music, and this famous song adaptation is a treasure.

So, while Christmas music may not be your thing, or you think it can be annoying, remember that many people who never enter a church are hearing the Gospel during the holiday season.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice