The past week has been one of my personal favourites of the whole year.
I love Holy Week and Easter, and the incredible message that God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross, so that all our mistakes and failings might be forgiven.
Each day from Palm Sunday until Easter Day, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, there is something to remember, to reflect on and to pray about.
We go from the highs and celebrations of Palm Sunday to the deep sadness of Jesus’ death, all the way back to the tremendous high of Easter morning and the realisation that Christ is alive!
He has confounded all the critics and turned everything around once more.
That feeling of being turned upside down and inside out is, I am sure, something we have all experienced.
Life is not the smooth, plain sailing journey we all hope for.
Illness happens, jobs are lost, relationships break down, life can deal us a hard hand at times.
Following Jesus doesn’t mean we get an easy ride – ask anyone who goes to church and they will confirm they experience all the topsy turvy emotions too.
In fact, sometimes it can be in the depths of despair that our Christian faith is the strong, certain anchor that helps us from going under.
When life is hard, challenging and testing, having a good friend and confidante that we can say anything to makes a difference.
For me, that best friend is Jesus, someone who I can rely on no matter what.
This doesn’t mean I am perfect, in fact I am far from it! But He is with me, as a guide, friend and inspiring presence when life is going well, and when it has been turned upside down.
One of Jesus’ best friends was a man called Peter.
Peter is one of my favourite people in the Bible because he understands what it is like to make mistakes and to let Jesus down.
He denied he even knew his friend when pressed by the people in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ trial.
He turned away, he made mistakes and he had a faith journey that went swinging from high to low and back again – a real topsy turvy journey.
Yet, Jesus forgave him; in fact, he not only forgave him but left him in charge of his disciples, commissioning them to take his Gospel message to the whole world.
That trust and faith that Jesus had in Peter is there for all of us.
Whatever our abilities, gifts, age and skills, whatever path our life has taken – He loves YOU and wants YOU to be His friend.
Whatever this topsy turvy world might throw at you, be assured you have a friend who will walk with you, and help you through.