By Fr. Mark Perkins
This morning I said morning prayer from my back porch, facing east towards the little stand of trees behind our house. Geese honked overhead. A woodpecker pecked. Partway through I happened to look over at our coop to see two of our chickens also facing perfectly east, standing one in front of the other. (The third, Peeps, also known for obvious reasons as "Pecksy" -- a hen of perdition, a vessel of wrath -- was nowhere to be seen.)
Before you start picturing pastoral bliss -- some rolling rural countryside -- I should note that, if I look to my left, I see railroad tracks just beyond my neighbor's fence, and beyond those looms a college dormitory. And that stand of trees is pretty measly -- ivy-choked invasive trees that fall over at a breath of wind and, beneath that, my sworn enemy bamboo. And above the bamboo growth I can see the top floors of the hospital, whose power plant we can hear whirring at all times and whose helicopters periodically pass over us.
We will not be in church today. We will watch remotely. (Were Dante to write today, the souls in limbo would be viewing paradise via a grainy Zoom livestream on a laptop screen.) I have grieved the loss of the parish Easter celebration all Holy Week.
Today is a day to let go grief and embrace joy.
If the tomb cannot hold our Lord, if Christ tramples down death, then surely his Resurrection transcends social isolation.
Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!
Fr. Mark Perkins is Assistant Curate at All Saints Charlottesville, Assistant Editor of Earth & Altar, and a full-time history teacher.