I don't think I can give you any better New Year's greeting than to suggest you read Dylan's Lectionary Blog entry for the First Sunday after Christmas. Just superb! The way she explains God's mercy in Jesus, and the gentle but surgical way she deals with the "substitutionary atonement" problem is beyond my ability to précis - you'll have to go and read her text for yourself. Do - you'll be glad you did, honestly!
Every blessing for the New Year to everyone!