Jarrod McKenna

Jarrod McKenna is amazed by grace. A peace award winning nonviolence trainer and activist, Jarrod is now World Vision Australia’s National Advisor on Faith & Activism and a teaching Pastor at Westcity Church. Jarrod with his amazing wife and son Teresa and Tyson, are three of 20 people living at First Home Project ; an innovative community welcoming, housing and empowering refugees. Follow him on twitter here.

Articles By This Author

3 Things a Stolen Car Is Teaching Me About Poverty

by Jarrod McKenna 05-19-2015
Image via Ollyy/shutterstock.com

Image via Ollyy/shutterstock.com

So our First Home Project car was stolen, and was recently found by the police. (Yay!) 

Unfortunately it now has more graffiti in it than a public toilet. (Booo.)

We use it to teach people how to drive so they can get a job and build a new life. (Yay!!!)

Judging by the damage to the car's front, side, and back, looks like these young locals could have done with a few driving lessons themselves. (Booo.)

Fortunately the spare tire is still in the boot. (Yay!)

Unfortunately it's now covered in what looks like dry blood. (Booo. ...And a serious amount of "What the!?!" and "Lord have mercy!") 

Lent: Thine Be the Kingdom

by Jarrod McKenna 04-03-2015
CEO World Vision Australia Rev. Tim Costello.

CEO World Vision Australia Rev. Tim Costello.

CEO of World Vision Australia Rev. Tim Costello reminds us that the Lord's Prayer "is not about us." 

"This Easter we remember that Christianity is in some ways about the power of weakness — a man on a cross ... exposing the weakness of violent power. This rather is extraordinary power defined in love," he says.

 

Lent: Deliver Us From Evil

by Jarrod McKenna 04-02-2015
Hands in prayer. Image via STILLFX/shutterstock.com

Hands in prayer. Image via STILLFX/shutterstock.com

Systemic theology lecturer Dr. Ben Myers talks about Jesus' prayer, "deliver us," and how following his example leads us not to optimism nor pessimism but into hope. 

"The prayer of Jesus teaches us quite a different way of looking at the world. He acknowledges the presence of evil in our lives. He acknowledges that there are things in this world that are bent out of shape ... that no amount of human effort could make right. ...When we join our voice with the voice of Jesus we catch a glimpse of the world as it really is — vulnerable, hurt, yet poised on the brink of redemption." 

 

Lent: Give Us Today Our Daily Bread

by Jarrod McKenna 04-01-2015
Breaking bread. Image via Africa Studio/shutterstock.com

Breaking bread. Image via Africa Studio/shutterstock.com

In this reflection, Rev. Dr. John Dickson talks about total dependency on the bread of life, and being one of the first cultures in history that doesn't see the process of food being grown, harvested, and prepared. 

"For most of us food is like magic, it just appears — but the Lord's prayer says, No, no, everything comes from the hand of God." 

Lent: As Being Caught up in the Spirit of Forgiveness

by Jarrod McKenna 03-19-2015

In this Lent reflection, Grant and Uncle Graham Paulson talk about cultural genocide and forgiveness in the same breath. It is an honor to listen to someone who is possible of such a witness.

 

Lent: Why the Lord’s Prayer Matters

by Jarrod McKenna 03-04-2015
Screenshot from 'Your Will Be Done.'

Screenshot from 'Your Will Be Done.'

As well as being a good surfer and a great mate, I believe Hillsong’s pastor Chrishan Jeyaratnam is one of the finest preachers in Australia. His teaching on “Your Will Be Done” in the Lord’s Prayer: Lent series is exceptional.

WATCH: Your Will Be Done

Lent: The Kingdom of God as the Truth of Easter

by Jarrod McKenna 02-25-2015

Australian Catholic Archbishop Mark Coleridge shares a powerful reflection on the Lord’s Prayer:

Lent: Making God’s Name Beautiful

by Jarrod McKenna 02-20-2015
A cross made of ash. Image courtesy Ansis Klucis/shutterstock.com

A cross made of ash. Image courtesy Ansis Klucis/shutterstock.com

I love today’s Lenten reflection by the Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Grey on the first verse of the Lord’s Prayer.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“Praying this each day calls us to orientate our intention away from ourselves and remember that we are not the centre of the universe. Instead it reminds us of our rightful place, alongside all our brothers and sister in adoration of our great God.”

“This prayer is a call to action. It makes a demand of us. How are we as God’s people going to make God’s name holy? This is a call to action to make known the beauty of God. The justice and perfection of God. And the majesty of God’s name in a world that wants to ignore it.”

“It’s a call for our lives to mirror the same beauty and holiness of God. To truly live up to our vocation as image bearers of our glorious God.”

“We are part of the family. So let’s do the family business of bringing light to the world.”

Watch Dr. Jaqueline Grey speak on the Lord's Prayer below.

 

Lent Is Not Giving Up Stuff

by Jarrod McKenna 02-18-2015

Lent is not about giving up stuff.

Lent is about the preparation of our hearts for what God has done in Christ.

Every Christmas Carol A Protest Song

by Jarrod McKenna 12-29-2014
An angel surveys a city. Image courtesy Neale Cousland/shutterstock.com

An angel surveys a city. Image courtesy Neale Cousland/shutterstock.com

I need a word of hope.

In verse 1 of chapter 2 of Luke’s gospel we are introduced to a word of hope, a person who in the ancient Roman empire was referred to as “Divine, Son of God, God, God from God, Lord, Redeemer Liberator, and Savior of the World” and his name is…

No. Not Jesus.

Caesar Augustus.

All these terms are first used of Caesar Augustus. We use them in reference to Jesus because the gospel is a counterclaim against every other power. Every Christmas carol is a protest song. That is, every Christmas carol is a protest song if we realize Christmas isn’t about God’s ticket to escape the world and its pain. Christmas instead is the powerful way God shows up "in person" to transform the world and our pain.

Both imperial Rome and the early church claimed that their good news came from Heaven. Both announce a gospel of peace, here on earth. The Roman Empire believed it of Caesar Augustus — the early church believed it only of Jesus the Messiah.

For some, today’s Bible reading with its talk of empires is too political. For others its talk of angels too spiritual. But today’s gospel reading wants us to open our eyes to the empires and open our ears to the angels and their protest songs.

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