In preparation for Easter, I had the opportunity to sit down with Pastor Darryn Scheske of Heartland Church to learn more about what the holiday means to him and Heartland’s congregation.  

Easter will be celebrated this year on Sunday, April 9, as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, and is a Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. As Pastor Darryn noted, Easter is not just remembering Christ and what he went through, but also what the hope of a resurrection brings. The holiday reminds Christians that there is a great hope that things that are dead and dying can become new again. He said, “Easter is a celebration of life from death.” 

heartland church

Pastor Darryn shared how he and his family celebrate Easter, starting with taking the week before to think through the steps of Jesus’ journey to the cross. Many of Easter’s symbols come from this journey, such as palm leaves which were waived at Jesus in celebration as he walked into Jerusalem the week before his death (Palm Sunday) and the cross, representing the crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday.  

After worship services, his family gathers and spends time connecting. This reflects one of Pastor Darryn’s favorite things about the holiday, sharing that, “something about Easter brings families back together.”  

Lamb may be a common entrée served at Easter meals, a reference to a name for Jesus featured in the Bible, Lamb of God. Easter Sunday concludes the Easter holiday as the day Jesus’ tomb was found empty, indicating his resurrection and sacrifice for Christians. Connection of friends and family is a symbol of Easter, as the holiday commemorates those who were scattered and heartbroken, but then became reunited and full of hope. Pastor Darryn shared that Easter is a time to celebrate hope, renewal, and the love of families and friends during trying times. 

heartland church
heartland church

Here’s what members of Heartland Church say Easter means to them:  

“We have found freedom from stuff in our past. We’ve discovered our purpose and how God made us, and we get to use that purpose to make a difference in the lives of others.” – Gwen Kennedy  

“During this time, it’s allowed me and my family to grow closer to God and has given us the opportunity to use the gifts God has given us to serve others. More importantly, it has given us the opportunity to meet new people and build some amazing friendships.” – Tracy Black  

“For me and my family, Heartland Church represents love, unity, and the way God wants us to live as citizens of the world. When so many backgrounds can worship together, and love each other as Christ loves us, it is truly inspirational!” – Kelli McCrary 

Learn more about Heartland Church on their website.