revjoaquinwillisweb.gifIn the 1980s, the Grammy award-winning singer, Prince, penned “Purple Rain.” 

He sang, “I know times are changing, it’s time we all reach out for something new, that means you too, you say you want a leader, but you can’t seem to make up your mind.”

At the 2004 Democratic national convention, millions responded to an unknown senatorial candidate.  I shouted at my wife, Clarissa, who had fallen asleep, “Wake-Up,
Wake-up, I just heard a message from a man who I believe will become the first black president of America.”  I was a believer, early on.

Barack Obama struck a chord, calling for an end to the partisan politics of red and blue states.  People of all colors cheered, electrified by the message of hope.  I thought to myself, “This man is anointed.  Who is this Barack Obama?”  

Since Dr. King’s death, we have suffered a 40-year drought of leadership.  With the 2008 election, God has brought down a “Purple Reign.”  It was the reign of Christ that elected Obama.  God has often sent prophets to speak for Him when His people suffered.  This is another of those times.

In his somber and elegant victory address, President-elect Obama said, “Today, change has come to America.” Jesse Jackson stated, “The soul of America has been redeemed.”

In Luke 4:16, Christ returns to Nazareth, and declares His credentials as a prophet, saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to bring the good news to the poor. He has sent me to announce release to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind and to set at liberty those who have been bruised, to proclaim that the year which everyone is waiting for has come.” 

After Nov. 4, jubilation filled the streets of America and the world.  Many could see Christ’s message made manifest, of potential for planting and rebuilding, of renewed hope for freedom and justice. These concepts are fundamental to students of Liberation Theology, as they were to supporters of Obama. 

In author Beth Moore’s, Breaking Free:  Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life, she states:  “If our liberty in Christ is going to be a reality in life, we are going to have to learn to walk in the freedom of Christ, independent of everyone else we know. We need more than a leader on our road to freedom, we need a savior – one (like Christ) that keeps on saving.”

For years, fear caused many to retreat—like threatened cave dwellers–during election season.  Political trickery triggered feelings of defenselessness.  But then God sent one with the “audacity’’ to hope, and the courage to start a movement toward change. 

Because of the reign of Christ within Obama, we can create an inclusive and meaningful society, one that embraces the world’s poor, and those spiritually blind or captive.  Because of the reign of Christ within America, we have hope of uniting our country.  God has mixed the conservative red agenda with the liberal blue agenda, creating “Purple Reign.”

In Obama’s victory, there is a lesson.  The key to overcoming resistance is to trust in God, to let Him turn your trials into triumphs.  You must believe that the weather can change, that you will be sheltered, and that you need not fear a “Purple Reign.”

The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door at 6001 NW 8th Ave., Miami.  To contact the church, call 305-759-0373 or email the pastor at