There is a saying in the UK that you can wait ages for a bus to come along and then three come at once – it must seem a bit like that with this blog! I’ve neglected it a bit lately, so today I am making up for lost time.
Last week I was at Bauska which is a corps south of Riga near the border with Lithuania. I decided that my sermon would highlight various ‘garments´featured in the Bible. In one of the English versions of the Bible, Peter talks about our putting on ‘the apron of humility’ (1 Peter 5:5 GNB) so that was one of the garments which was featured. It was clear from their response that the mainly female audience related to the apron metaphor but even so, I was delighted to receive this photo during the week. After the sermon, Major Beckett the officer there, threw out the challenge to the ladies to bring their aprons along to the women’s meeting – Home League as we call it in the Salvation Army – and this was the result. So here are the ‘Bauska beauties’ in their aprons. (I also spoke about ‘sack-cloth’ but notice that none of them turned up thus attired!)
There is an interesting addition to the story, and one which will doubtless get included in any sermon I preach again on this text. One of the ladies, the second one in on the right of the picture, is wearing the apron that she wore at her wedding. My information is that this is a Latvian tradition, along with changing the rather gorgeous crowns that single Latvian women wear for the rather drab (to my mind, and with apologies to my Latvian friends) white headscarf which is a key part of the wedding ceremony. I can only imagine that the apron and the headscarf represents the new life of responsibility and service which the new wife is beginning. Quite literally, it would seem, she puts on ‘the apron of humility’. That said, I can’t think of many Latvian young women of my acquaintance who would be too keen to keep up this tradition today!