Tonight I will be in the pub, cheering on England as our boys™ look to secure their place in the quarter finals of Euro 2012.
The country, as predicted, has been taken over by it. Our once football-averse editor Ruth is singing the praises of Theo Walcott, while Martin Saunders is already planning the victory parade.
This all comes hot on the heels of a Jubilee weekend that saw bunting make a major comeback, and precedes possibly the biggest sporting event ever to come to this country, the Olympics. But here's the question I find myself asking: Is it right to wave the flags, sing songs and wear the Three Lions? Or is celebrating the country in which I happened to be born into missing the point of Christianity?
Recent - and coming - weeks seem to have gone beyond supporting a football team. There has been an air of thanking God for Britain, and all of its empire-building, food-hoarding, slave-utilising, women-oppressing history. Rule Britannia indeed. Naturally we should be thanking God for all he gives us, but aside from a climate that my pasty skin can cope with, I can't say that living in the UK is something I thank the Lord for on a daily basis.
Contrary to the words of 'Jerusalem', Jesus never walked upon this green and pleasant land. This doesn't even need to be about England; nowhere in the Bible is the importance of one's nation enforced. There's no biblical need for jingoism; it seems to have developed out of our culture.
I fully believe that churches need to be using every possible opportunity to engage with communities around them, and if the Jubilee, the Olympics or an England game serve as a chance to do that, superb. But let's not pretend that nationalistic pride is central to Christianity.
You could take this argument further and suggest that nationalism is in fact an unChristian position. Biblically, nations date back to the Tower of Babel, a story of God dividing us into groups based on language after confusing our communication, following humankind's attempts to gain Godlike power. Nationhood is almost a punishment from God, a way of dividing humanity up. Far from being something to be celebrated, perhaps nationhood is a concept we should be striving to breakdown.
If we take a New Testament perspective, we see Israel, desperate for a political leader; we have a saviour who subverts this, who doesn't put Hebrew pride at the centre of his manifesto and whose message divides a nation rather than unites it. Would Jesus be in the pub hanging out with the football fans? Absolutely. Would he be weeping tears of pride during 'God Save the Queen'? I'm not convinced.
I'd suggest nationalism is neither a Christian nor an unChristian position, but exists somewhere in the middle. Yet despite this, it seems that the dominant Christian narrative in this country is one of national pride, to the extent that many a church front is currently adorned with Union Jacks and still clearing away cupcakes from the kitchen.
I don't actually think that a sense of national pride is unChristian. I'll be cheering on England this week like everyone else, but let's not pretend that doing so is integral, or even necessary, to our faith. Let's not create some Christian obligation to watch the Trooping the Colour and sing 'God Save the Queen' at every opportunity. Or if we do, let's put a hip hop beat on the anthem and get the Queen a cooler hat.