Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

March 18, 2012


One of these days I’m going home


            I grew up loving songs of faith known as Negro spirituals. Nowadays these wonderful songs are labeled “Afro-American Spirituals.” Whatever the songs may be called many of them touch my heartstrings. I often sing spirituals when I am by myself and enjoying being a child of God.

“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” is one of my all-time favorites. As the day nears for my own crossing of the Jordan I can sometimes shut out the noise of the world and hear the sound of the chariot “coming for to carry me home.”

One verse makes me remember my friend and mentor Brother Si Mathison: “If you get there before I do, coming for to carry me home; tell all my friends I’m coming too.”

Brother Si was in his nineties when the chariot came for him. He often chuckled that his friends and relatives were sitting around in heaven saying, “Well, Si must not have made it up here.”

Another spiritual that I enjoy is “Plenty Good Room.” That song reminds us that heaven is big enough to accommodate all who want to go there:  “Plenty good room, plenty good room; good room in my Father’s kingdom; plenty good room, plenty good room, just choose your seat and sit down.”

The spirituals were composed and sung, in the field, the kitchen and the cabins at night by African slaves. They reflect the suffering endured during their bondage. Suffering has often caused Christians to declare that “This world is not my home; heaven is my home.”

Home is a wonderful word. My childhood home meant the world to me. Until my parents died in their nineties I always enjoyed “going home” to sit around the table and “catch up” with each another. 

Perhaps that is why one of the most electrifying moments of my life was the night I heard for the first time the New World Symphony composed by Antonin Dvorak. I was stunned by the beauty of the Largo theme. Later I would be mesmerized by the song, “Goin’ Home,” written by William Arms Fisher and sung to the music of the Largo theme.  These words touch deeply the longing in my heart for my ultimate home:


Goin' home, goin' home,
I'm a-goin' home,
Quiet like some still day,
I'm jes' goin' home.

It's not far, jes' close by,
Through an open door,
Work all done, care laid by,
Gwine to fear no more.

Mother's there 'spectin' me,
Father's waitin' too,
Lot's o' folk gathered there,
All the friends I knew.

Home, home, I'm goin' home.
Nothin' lost, all's gain.
No more stumblin' on the way,
No more longin' for the day,
Gwine to roam no more.

Mornin' star lights the way,
Res'less dreams all done, all done,
Shadow's gone, break o' day,
Real life's jes' begun.

Dere's no break, ain't no end,
Jes' a-livin' on,
Wide awake with a smile,
Goin' on and on.

Goin' home, goin' home,
I'm jes goin' home,
It's not far, Jes' close by,
Through an open door,
I'm jes' goin home.


          The Bible teaches us that God is our home. One verse will suffice: “God, it seems you've been our home forever; long before the mountains were born.” (The Message). Other translations use the word “refuge” or “dwelling place” which are other words for home.

        I grew up singing a quaint song called “Do Lord,” which includes these words, “I’ve got a home in glory land.” Well, I believe by faith I do have a home in glory land and one of these days that band of angels will swing by with that chariot and take me home. But, as Stuart Hamblen says, “Until then with joy I’ll carry on!” Glory! + + +