taking the words of Jesus seriously

“So. . .what are you giving up?”

It’s the question of the day as people everywhere embark on the Lenten journey. Answers include everything from soda to chocolate and fast food to fine dining. And it’s not only what a person gives up. Sometimes individuals take on new ventures. Eating a salad a day or running two miles after work are just two common examples of tasks people take on in their preparation for the Resurrection.

And that is just it. . .this is done in preparation for the Resurrection! Refusing our body pleasures that we are accustomed to develops a form a discipline. The ability to intentionally say no to desires in expectation of the day of Resurrection instills a Spiritual discipline that molds the body and soul towards Christ and His will.

With that in mind I’d like to recommend a particular Lenten fast that is being facilitated by my friend Jena Nardella and organization Blood:Water Mission which was founded by the contemporary Christian band, Jars of Clay.

The Challenge: “Forty Days of Water.” Blood: Water Mission challenges their supporters and followers to give up all beverages during lent except water. No soda, coffee, tea, juice, or any other drink. . .just water! Save the money you would have spent and give Blood: Water Mission’s friends in Africa safe drinking water. Check out the video below:

Forty Days of Water from Blood:Water Mission on Vimeo.

Coming from someone who enjoys their morning coffee I recognize this is no simple fast. For many it will require daily intentional discipline. However, the benefit is great! Not only does the money go to a fantastic and worthy cause but also you will develop a deeper sense of discipline and intentionality. I strongly encourage you to consider Blood: Water Mission’s “Forty Days of Water” challenge!

And whether or not you take up the Blood: Water Mission challenge I hope you will give strong consideration to either giving up something you enjoy delighting in or taking on something that will benefit you as an individual this Lent. There are countless options. Take some time to scope them out and then begin your Lenten journey today!

About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

Related Posts

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
    Check which Newsletter(s) you'd like to receive:    

You have Successfully Subscribed!