A WEEK is a long time. We are now that on other side of Holy Week, and Christians can say “Christ is risen!”

But Palm Sunday marked the beginning of a week which was full of more cliff-hangers than Eastenders. There were the shouts of “Hosanna!” as Jesus entered Jerusalem and a huge party atmosphere.

But then the mood turned darker. Plots of betrayal; the perfidy of a friend; a gruesome death; and a miraculous resurrection.

And my week was a microcosm of this. I met with someone who was celebrating a significant wedding anniversary – full of joy and thankfulness at the life he had been given.

And on the same day someone approached me who had been betrayed by their life partner. I had the privilege of saying a blessing for a gorgeous new baby girl; and the sadness of taking a funeral for a baby who had died.

I had the great fortune to chat to someone who had just had the all clear from cancer; and the less fortunate family, whose relative had responded poorly to treatment and were grieving her loss.

So whether you're religious or not; whether you celebrate Easter by going to a place of worship or by enjoying the time off work eating chocolate; there is one thing you can be sure of.

The historical figure Jesus Christ was not immune from the ups and downs of life. He knew what it was to party and he knew what it was to mourn. He experienced loss and grief and pain. He knew anguish in mind and body and spirit. I know that some people think of God as remote and distant; winding up the world and letting it go ab out it’s spinning with no intervention.

But the Christian story of Easter speaks differently. It speaks of a God who is intimately involved in the world and who knows its joys and hardships. And it speaks of a constant hope of light in the darkness and resurrection in the face of death.

Happy Easter.