Reading Jay Newman’s great piece on the defunct Cornerstone Festival and discussion of the younger AudioFeed Fest got me to thinking.
Well, I had thought and blogged about this right at the end of Cstone (https://gkaiser.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/cornerstone-festival/) and had mentioned “fellowship” as a key point.
Here is what I wanted to reflect regarding AudioFeed Festival which at core was begun as somewhat inspired by Cstone-
As Jay aptly put it, it IS about “fellowship”, about that New Testament Greek term “koinonia”.
Both intimate fellowship with God Himself (which is everywhere, anywhere, anytime you are willing… because HE always is!) and certainly the matter of linking up with people of like mind are why we show up. Or, at least due to openness, being willing to talk about but not harshly separate over differences, be they theological, cultural, stylistic or whatever, these are the gifts of fellowship that brought thousands together at Cornerstone Festival for nearly three decades.
When asked, someone once said “We don’t have to apologize for being ourselves”. Repent of sin yes, not of cultural variations that the Bible is silent about. Fun is allowed, even encouraged 🙂
Sure, AF Fest is (like Cstone was) about all these, but there is a level of unity without absolute jackbooted uniformity that one can experience in plenty of places and among a fair number of people. Finding them can be a chore, a trial and often one’s expectations are dashed once you both (or several of you) find you Strongly Disagree on various things.
This is where we must be honest in that not even Cornerstone nor AudioFeed or any other gathering, even among largely agreeing Christ followers is… well… heaven. Here we see through a glass darkly, know in part, are often hardwired by education, lack of it, personal preference or shifting personal views on an issue. Here at present we look for same-same-LOVE-LOVE in a long list of areas, and in marriage, church, daily work, bands, drama group or veggie stand we may well disagree to the point of separating over the chasm.
The “koinonia” of the New Testament relationship is defined:
“fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, the share which one has in anything, participation, intimacy, a gift jointly contributed”
I have also written about elements of this in terms of pain and difficulties bringing people together who were once strangers- and how that can help bond people together as a matter of survival and even life-giving fellowship- (https://gkaiser.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/20101017fellowship-102-3/).
In any case, the reasons people come together are as varied as those that drive us apart. Authentic koinonia in the actual love of God- especially when shared as a group and INCLUDING subcultural preferences, art, life experiences that bring joy and a sense of purpose… THIS is the stuff we gather to celebrate and take note of. Sometimes God speaks very clearly to us in such gatherings. Cliche I know, but True. This is some of the “why” returning and being together is so important to so many of us.
Losing these can be (often is) devastating and the sense of loss huge!
Realizing and experiencing these good and life-giving relationships is where koinonia, true spiritual friendship that God the Holy Spirit both creates and causes us to be aware of, present in the moment… THIS is why I love AudioFeed and like gatherings.
Life happens in the coolest way in such relational experiences. The Chief Cornerstone (according to scripture) makes His presence known among His own. Ps. 133 for sure!
A day ago I posted my/our schedule at AudioFeed this year. Hope to see you there! Looking forward, -Glenn