I’m Gonna Take My Cross To Glory

I gotta home in the Kingdom
Ain’t that Good News?
I gotta home in that Kingdom
Ain’t that Good News?

Gonna Lay Down This World
Shoulder Up My Cross
Take It Home To My Jesus
Ain’t that Good News


The slave singer recognizes that there is a home in glory. That home is good news and presumably will elicit praise in the singer and those who hear. In other stanzas the singer notes that there is a crown in the Kingdom. This is all good news.

crosseclipseThat is well and good, but this spiritual takes an interesting turn. For the singer notes that she is going to lay down the world and then shoulder up the cross. We are reminded of Jesus taking the cross, but we are also reminded of the fact that we as Christians will have a cross. But what is interesting is where this cross will go. The singer says that he is going to take the cross to glory. And that is good news.

Think about that for a moment. Do you have a cross that is terrible. Do you have a cross that hurts and overpowers you? Something that is designed to kill you? Well the singer of the Spiritual takes the cross and will live with that cross “shoulder it” until the singer gets to the place where the singer can give the cross to Jesus. And that is good news.

So whatever you are dealing with, the singer reminds us that it is good news to shoulder it up to glory and turn it over to Jesus. You will have to live with some pain here and now, but the singer reminds us that when we shoulder it up to glory and give it to Jesus it is good news. Certainly the singer is not minimizing the cross that we have in our lives. The singer had to bear the brunt of physical and emotional torture that we can only imagine, but the singer turned that pain into power by recognizing that the singer is simply bearing that cross till she gets to give it to Jesus.

This “Good News” transforms the cross into an instrument of celebration. I am talking about the cross we bear. We want to celebrate Jesus’ cross, but do we celebrate the cross we have to “shoulder?” The singer finds a moment of celebration in the “shouldering” of the cross. Today, I encourage you to find that moment of praise in “shouldering.” Don’t allow evil surmisings to overpower you, instead find a way to celebrate the “shouldering.” Because in the morning, we will all be able to pass that cross over to Jesus and grab that crown.


Heavenly Father, we thank you for being with us in the pains and hurts of today. But we also thank you for that future vision of hope that we will fully experience when we pass that cross on and receive the crown. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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Revised Common Lectionary
5th Sunday of Lent (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Ezekiel 37:1-14
  • Psalm: Psalm 130
  • Epistle: Romans 8:6-11
  • Gospel: John 11:1-45
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