I live here in the South, in rural Alabama. We Southerners are a slightly different bunch than many people. We have our good points and our bad points. But we also have some different mannerisms that intrigue those from outside.
One mannerism, or phrase often said, when leaving from visiting another’s house or when your company is leaving is the following:
Here’s a clip of Porter Wagner singing “Ya’ll Come” for those that don’t know what I’m talking about.
Actually makes me sad thinking about it, because it is something that is going by the wayside. Only the older folks still do that, but I don’t know, maybe I should start it up again. I can just see my grandmother standing wiping her hands on her apron and saying “Ya’ll come to see us, ya’ hear.”
So “Ya’ll come to see us, too.”
But I do remember as a child when someone was leaving and they said “Ya’ll Come.” My evil little heart would think what would they do if I did. I can’t believe I would think that, because I know most of them would have all been perfectly willing to take me right along with them. But even as a child, I knew that a general “Ya’ll Come” wasn’t the same as a personal invitation. Nothing like my moma calling me by name and saying get in the car. Or being mailed an invitation to a party with my name on it.
Is the gospel call a “Ya’ll Come” or is it a more personal invitation?
It is a personal invitation. We are each one called by name; from the foundation of the earth we were called by name to inherit the Kingdom of God (Matthew 25:34).
1 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. ESV
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
5 he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, … ESV
Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. Zaccheaus is called by name.
Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” ESV
Mary Magdalene in John 20:11-18. Mary was called by her name not just a general call.
John 20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). ESV
Saul/Paul in Acts 9:1-18. Saul called by name.
Acts 9:4 And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” ESV
Have you been called by name?
Aren’t you glad that the Lord calls us directly and specifically and not just a general easily ignored –
“Ya’ll Come back, ya’ hear!”