Bishop Emeritus Arri Kugappi greets TV viewers on the occasion of the Nativity of John the Baptist celebrated on June 24 in the calendar of the ELCIR. A telecast in Viestit Karjala, a Finnish-language news program on Rossiya 1 Karelia, a regional channel of VGTRK, a state-owned broadcaster which operates many television and radio channels in 53 of Russia’s languages.
“Dear friends, brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, residents of Karelia, all people who are watching this video, it’s a great joy for me to greet you on the occasion of the Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist.
“On this day, we remember John the Baptist. He was a special man of God, a prophet of God who preached Christ. He was a forerunner of Christ. As he witnessed to Jesus Christ, he said, ‘I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I. . . He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’ That’s why there’s a very popular folk custom to make bonfires on the Day of John the Baptist.
I wish you God’s richest blessings! And I wish you to keep warm in God’s sunshine, listening to spiritual songs, heeding to God’s Word, which also talks about John the Baptist, a herald of Christ. Amen!”
(The English translation is based on the Russian translation from Finnish by Oksana Dyba)