My Advent series this year will follow the Words Matter Advent study from the National Council of Churches. Download the whole booklet if you’d like, and follow along with the writings for each day. I’d love to discuss them with you. Also, here is a link to the Advent readings from the Inclusive Bible. I prefer the more inclusive language here, than the NRSV texts used in the study booklet (be sure to read the note on page 6).
The author of the devotional today talks about names.
I’m named for my maternal grandmother. Her birth name was Anna Bell Eakin. Bell was a family name, and Anna was one of her aunts. When she was a little girl one of her teachers used to call her “Anna” just to tease her.
She would puff up and say, “My name is NOT Anna.”
He would reply, “Well, there must be a Bell to it, by the ring of your voice.”
As soon as she was old enough she changed it to Annabel.
* * *
When I was two years old, just learning to talk, my mother and grandmother were trying to teach me to say Annabel.
“Say ‘Anna’,” they would say.
“Anna,” I would answer.
“Say ‘Bell’,” they would say.
“Bell,” I would answer.
“Say ‘Annabel’,” they would repeat.
“Abbie,” I said!
And Abbie I am to this day.