dear jon: all y’all.

Here’s the start of an occasional series.

Dear Jon

Is “All Y’all” an appropriate form of address for the triune God??

a friend

Dear Friend

Andrew played soccer for many years. Andrew’s name was, and is, “Andrew.” Except when it’s “Swanson.” Nancy and I have called him several names, but those are our names and he recognizes them because he recognizes us. And the relationship.

Four or five years into his career, a new coach on a new team was watching practice. “Andy,” he called out. Andrew kept going. “Andy,” the coach called. Andrew kept going.

Andrew had no idea that he was Andy.

It may be that your question is whether God will recognize us if we call him by a nickname or if he’ll keep running.

Y’all, as  you know, is usable to indicate either “you singular” or “you plural.” I have often used it – though I only lived in the South for three years – because it favors the “you plural”, and those of use from the North have no such alternative. What is nice about “all y’all” is that it is clearly “you plural.” As such, it is a wonderfully accurate way to talk to Father, Son, and Spirit in a way that speaks equally to all three. (It seems nicer than “youse guys”.)

I’m guessing, however, that you are concerned less about linguistic accuracy and more about being overly familiar. As such, your implied question may be, “Will God strike me with lightening if I say ‘would all y’all give my dying friend strength’ instead of something more formal and otherworldly.”

I know. A universe-creator and history-maker deserves honor. But the point of Jesus putting on flesh and walking around here is that God was committed to bridging the conversational divide.

Go ahead and reply, all y’all.

4 thoughts on “dear jon: all y’all.

  1. Mark Rechner

    Great post Jon! However, there is a term up north for you plural. I worked with a guy from Pittsburgh and he would always use “you’uns” pronounced “yunz”.

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  2. Pingback: Some thoughts on talking with God. | 300 words a day

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