To ring in the New Year for me now is in the primal moment, because I know time is cruel and limited, and as far as I know, it has me running for my life, trying to accomplish what I need to before it catches me.
Life, in its millions of manifestations, is essentially a variety of transactions. The transactions can be of many kinds -- between nations, cultures, individuals. There are transactions which are cellular, atomic and cosmic.
Individuals who return to integrity may find themselves forever stigmatized, set apart, and not welcomed back into relationship and community. Sometimes the harshest critics are themselves lacking integrity.
Jesus has his moments when he speaks plainly, but much of what the Gospels convey is a lot more elusive. That's what makes his teachings so evocative, and sometimes offensive, and sometimes restorative.