Author: Inés Velásquez-McBryde

Inés is an ordained pastor, preacher, reconciler, writer, and speaker. We are pleased to feature Inés as a regular Life for Leaders writer.

Click here to view Inés' profile.

Children walking down the road of a Syrian refugee camp

Latinx Heritage Month II: Our Messiah was a Migrant

Our Messiah was a migrant and so were his people. He was shaped by the rituals of remembrance that recalled those deportations and the pain and trials that accompanied them. He was shaped by hearing about those ancestors who stood steadfast in the face of fear and violent dictators. He was shaped by the _hesed_ love of God to a people time and time again. Grief and grace shaped our Messiah. If you want to see God on the move, see the people that are on the move. The migration stories of his ancestors and his very own birth story were a means of God’s grace.

Read Post
A thick old tree with extensive roots

Latinx Heritage Month I: Raíces // Roots

When I study Jesus’ genealogy, I am fascinated by the Spirit’s careful detail through the gospel writer to tell us the names of Jesus’ ancestors. Each name is a story grounded in place, in land, in languages, and in peoples. From the prophetic disruption and inclusion of women’s names that were not traditionally included in genealogies all the way to forced migration, Jesus’ story has scandal and sassy protagonists. His story includes land displacement and multiple languages as much as rootedness and identity. 

Read Post
Lavender growing wild in a field

Life in the Spirit II: What Jesus Smells Like

Paul declares that Christ has his own fragrance. He goes on to say that we help spread in every place the aroma of Christ to those who are being saved and those who are perishing. The problem is that historically the church of God has stood in controversy and contradiction when our stench does not align with the aroma of Christ. Ask any Old Testament prophet. Ask Isaiah whom God used to reject their burnt offerings because their worship had the stench of injustice.

Read Post
A fountain pen lying on a partially finished letter

Life in the Spirit I: A Living Letter

Paul states that his listeners are letters. Living letters. Letters from Christ. So it is with you. Your life is a living letter and it is being read by others in this daily and ordinary life. Not only that, but Paul states that the Spirit is the ink. I imagine a dynamic and catalytic Spirit engaged in our lives and calling. I love the idea of an active spirit that is always moving in every page and chapter of our lives. What an encouragement it is to be co-creating a story with God’s own Spirit and our very lives!

Read Post
Graffiti in white letters on a black wall reading "DREAM BIG"

The Song of Miriam – II

In the full song of Moses and Miriam, we see their declaration that the Lord was their strength and their salvation. This was their father’s God and their mother’s god. Their tia’s and abuelita’s God. A God of old who calls and guides, loves, and sustains our work and our role in it.

Read Post
A tambourine with beautiful embroidered decorations on a red background, hanging on a tree in a forest

The Song of Miriam – I

Miriam was around 85 years old before they crossed over the Red Sea. Yet she had been living into her vocation of prophetess since she was a young girl. If you remember, she secured Moses’ rescue with her mother Jochebed and convinced Pharaoh’s daughter to disobey her father’s orders and to take her baby brother into the palace. God did not undermine Miriam’s youth in order to use her calling and develop her voice as a prophetess.

Read Post
A fishing boat on choppy water

Follow Me

Suddenly sometimes strange happens in the text. Peter asks, “What about him, though?” He points to the disciple whom Jesus loved following behind. I always thought it odd that he would ask and I still cannot be quite sure why he does so. However, I am always moved by Jesus’ persistent redirection: Peter, follow me. Stay in your lane. Don’t compare yourself. Keep your eyes on me. Not on him.

Read Post
A person sitting on a bench looking off into the fog

Silent Stones?

The Pharisees have angst over the crowd’s energy and proclamations about Jesus. They demand that Jesus rebuke his disciples. Were they afraid? Nervous? What were they afraid of? Helmut Thielicke says: “There are really only two ways to take a thing seriously. Either you renounce it or you risk everything for it.”

Read Post
A brick in a wall with the word "Courage" on it

Courage is Calling—Part II

Courage stands firm in the dignity of her humanity. Courage stands in solidarity on behalf of other bodies, in this case, the Canaanite woman’s daughter. Courage risks rejection. She was in fact, rejected twice in this conversation. However, her courage was repetitive and persistent.

Read Post

Courage is Calling—Part I

This Canaanite mother believes in the identity and authority of Jesus over disease and demons. She places trust in his authority, in his person, in his powers. We don’t know how she came to believe in him, but her courage came to believe. She binds her courage to Christ. She brings her courage to bring wholeness and healing for her daughter.

Read Post
A crocheted nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, Jesus, sheep, shepherds, and the Magi

Advent: Honest Revelation

The same God who sets the galaxies into motions sustains your life in motion. The same God who created the skies orchestrates the stars in the sky just to come get you. May you know, like the Magi, that you aren’t lost in this season. You are looking. May you follow in their steps of ordinary revelation: to wake up, to watch and to walk. Every morning. Every night. May you know God is in your holy night and in this holy darkness. A benevolent (not malevolent) darkness where the darker the sky, the brighter the stars shine to show you the way.

Read Post
A pink rose and invitation card on a dark background

Advent: Honest Invitation

If you lean into the song-text and take a closer look at this child, cousin of Jesus, his calling in life extends a gentle invitation in our own waiting. The grace that Elizabeth’s womb is nourishing is one that will “give knowledge of salvation…give light…in the darkness…and guide our feet into the way of peace.” John’s calling is to give and to guide. Our invitation is to receive and to be led into peace.  

Read Post
A sign on a fence reading "This Way" with an arrow pointing right

A Light That Loves

Jesus gives directions to Ananias like we give directions in my hometown of Managua, Nicaragua.

Read Post
The sun shining through a blooming flower, causing a lens flare

A Light That Blinds

It can be of comfort to us that our Jesus, our Savior, considers his body as communal.

Read Post
A young woman sitting at a table in a cafe looking at her phone

Legacy of Grace – Part II

With gritty grace, Stephen tells the truth about their hearts.

Read Post