Many a Lutheran grandmother has gone head to head with the good Dr Luther, who famously called God "du." But it sounds more proper and respectful, they argue, to say "thee" and "thy" and "thou," demonstrating how these terms now connote the opposite of their original familiarity. As more naves become indistinguishable from restaurants or playgroups, the grandmas have a point. No one speaks respectfully to anyone any more, least of all to our finger-pulling pal Jesus. Inhabitants of this historical moment might find their piety better served with formality than familiarity.
And then again, can we have it both ways? If reverent words confess a knowledge of God particularly hidden in our time, are they not also uniquely familiar?