We’ve been learning this new song from Tommy and Eileen Walker over the past few weeks. Over the past few years, our Sunday Night Church congregation have grown fond of the worship songs provided by Tommy Walker.
The words that particularly struck me in this song are “He’s stronger than the darkness.” Although this isn’t a Christmas carol, it certainly feels appropriate to the theme of Advent and the prophesies fulfilled in Christ that he brings light and life, that he is light and life.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
That’s the theme that the song picks up in its bridge.
And He’s stronger than the darkness
In Him there’s only light
And He’s stronger than our sickness
There’s healing in His hands
And He’s stronger than addiction
He sets the captives free
He’s stronger than depression
His joy is our strength
Now I appreciate that there can be a risk with the type of language we see here and I know that those of us from more conservative evangelical backgrounds are keenly aware of it. The risk is that talk of healing in this way can feed into a prosperity Gospel type of expectation that there is guaranteed healing and health, now in this body, if we have the right amount of health.
But bear with me, because I think that this can also risk us denying something important and true. Yes Christ is stronger than those things: sickness, addiction and depression are part of the darkness, part of living under the curse that the Fall brought. So we do want to acknowledge that Christ will heal, Christ will give freedom and Christ will bring lasting joy and peace.
That’s, the very point of having an advent season that not only looks back to Christ’s first coming but also looks forward to the second advent when he returns and sickness along with sin, death and darkness will flee before him. I believe that in this present life, we get little glimpses, little foretastes of this light breaking into our dark world.
The lines about depression are poignant personally me. This time last year, I was just beginning to return slowly to work having spent a month lying on the couch, under a blanket in the darkness and depths of depression. It has been a long road to recovery and there have been ups and downs and bumps in the road along the way. I know too that the darkness of depression may descend again at any point. However, I have found that his joy is my strength. When I could not find my own joy, I needed the joy of the Lord.
So, my prayer for you this advent time is that if you are in the valley now and you are struggling with an addiction or ill health is wearing you down or you are battling a depressive episode that you will know the light and life that Christ brings that you will discover again the hope that will enable you to persevere.
 Isaiah 9:2
 John 1:5