Exodus 12:17 states "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.” God commands the Israelites to have a festival, to annually celebrate the awesome, liberating power of God. It is almost comical to think of celebration as a discipline or command, but many times we forget that what God offers us is something worth celebrating. Augustine of Hippos says “The Christian should be an alleluia from head to foot!” God even incorporated a whole year of celebration with the year of Jubilee. The Year of Jubilee was a command from God to celebrate a whole year of God’s provision by not planting any crops (God would take care of that part) and canceling all debt. Forget one week of Mardi Gras, this was a whole year! Every one of these exercises, all the disciplines, and commands are to be done not with drudgery, but with a joyous spirit, knowing that God loves us, and has already completed his work for our salvation in Jesus Christ. We are saved by the cross, everything we approach than should be with complete joy. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 does not exaggerate with truth when it says “be joyful always.” Keep the redemptive work of Christ always at the front of your mind, and remember to work with God with unrestrained joy.