I can honestly say that this New Years was possibly one of the best New Years I ever had. Amid all the laughter and dancing, weed and beer, I felt closer to God than I had for the past week (how's that for an attention grabber : ).
While I was there, a something sparked in my mind. I thought to myself, "This is probably where Jesus would have been." I remembered that during his life, some of the "religious people" of his time called him a drunkard when he walked down the street not because he was drunk, but because it was drunkards, prostitutes, and tax collectors, the rejected ones of society (rich and poor) who he spent a lot, if not most, of his time with. I remembered that at one point a "religious ruler" confronted Jesus about the people he touched, ate with, and loved wondering why Jesus was not eating and carrying on with the Pharisees who devoted their life to living perfectly for "God" having, for instance, memorized the entire Old Testament among other things. In response Jesus basically said, "Like a doctor, I did not come for the healthy, but the sick." Looking at his life one can see that he came for those who have needs and are willing to admit it.
Earlier that week I read that God listened to all music (rap, reggae, rock, gospel, folk, country...)...and He didn't focus on the words people said. The author pointed out that He sees everyone's heart behind every word, and His love goes deep for each one. I think this can probably be applied to everything external a person says or does.
While I was there I saw people with the eyes of Jesus rather than the eyes of a "religious ruler." I saw everyone in the auditorium as beautiful. I could feel His love for every individual.