DULUTH, Minn. – Easter Sunday may mean egg and chocolate hunts for some, but for others it is also a time to go back to the roots of the original story and teach it to others as well.
“It was unbelievably good, I mean after the trauma we’ve been through over the past two years due to covid, it’s unbelievably good to be together again,” said senior pastor Michael Gatlin.
Gatlin was so happy to be back in front of a crowd on Sunday morning. A Christian church, the Vineyard had a packed house for Easter services, and those who attend every Easter or Sunday say it’s a great place.
“I think we love it, it feels like family, I mean we see, we’ve made friends with people we wouldn’t normally hang out with, and all kinds of socio-economic groups,” Dave Franzen, who attends the church, says.
“Whatever walk you take in life, it’s just a nice, welcoming place that makes you want to come back for more,” said Shannon Franzen, who also attends church with her husband.
And the throngs of people made Gatlin’s Sunday service even more meaningful.
“I think maybe for the first time in a way that, idk there’s so much joy and people in the room, almost brings tears to your eyes to walk into a room full of people like that that we didn’t know,” Gatlin said. .
Easter means something different to each person, and each religion has a different way of honoring the time of year, but for Christians, it’s about getting back to the basics of the holiday.
“I think that’s kind of acknowledging how incredibly crazy the Easter story is, how it scares everyone, the way we reduce it to bunnies and chocolate and eggs, just points to the fact that it’s such an amazing thing,” Gatlin added.
Those present agree that this is an important day and a message to emphasize.
“[It] gives us hope that death is not the end for all of us, that we have a future, that we will see loved ones, and that we will be united with God forever,” said Dave Franzen.
“Yes, it’s a wonderful celebration and reminds me of what Jesus did for me and everyone on the cross,” Shannon Franzen added.
So celebrating with Easter eggs and brunches is part of the holidays, but remembering why it’s being celebrated is also important.
“So the way we come back to that is we go back into that story again, faith starts with remembering the past and then that sparked a bit of imagination for what could be,” Pastor Gatlin said. .
The Vineyard Church offers services every Sunday morning at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.