Some really good reflections by internetmonk (Michael Spencer) re: America and the church:
Perhaps the reason a song like â€œAmerica the Beautifulâ€ persists in worship among evangelicals is a simple, but deeply rooted problem: We- the church- donâ€™t know who we are. We have lost our identity, and in the world in which we live, it is always easier to take hold of national identity than to live out the identity of Godâ€™s people.
Godâ€™s people come from every nation, tribe and people. We do not place our hope in any nation, but in Jesus Christ alone. We are a people in the midst of the nations. Our identity comes from our redemption through the blood of the lamb. We are called to live out our continuing identity found in the Word, the waters of baptism and the table of the Lord. This is not our home, and it is not our hope, even with religion added in.
And on the convergence this year of Pentecost and Memorial Day weekend Sunday:
It seems odd that non-liturgical churches marking the birth of Jesus and the resurrection of Jesus often lose Pentecost completely. The coming of the Spirit is a major event in the New Testament; a defining event in the history and identity of Godâ€™s people. For Christians, the first great act of the ascended, reigning Christ was to pour out the Holy Spirit on the church. The gathered disciples are really not the ekklesia of Jesus Christ- the New Covenant people of God- until the Holy Spirit comes. It is the birth of the church.