Playing Church

C3Playing Church
By Cecil May III

Kids play church. When I was a kid we might set up dolls as people in the pews. Someone would lead songs. Someone would pray. We would get some crackers and coke (we did not often have juice at our house) for the Lord’s Supper. You may know the old joke (and I am happy to say it is dated) about the suspicious mother who found her kids on the front porch just standing around. She asked what they were doing. One child explained, “We are playing church. Right now we are between Sunday School and services so we are outside smoking.”

The priests and participants who engaged in worship in the days of the Old Testament undoubtedly thought what they offered was real. Then, Jesus came and revealed that what they were doing was more like playing church. Jesus leads us in “real” worship. The book of Hebrews is about the real worship that takes place through Jesus
Levitical priests entered a tent. Jesus, our great high priest, entered heaven. (8:1-2)

Levitical priests were appointed by virtue of the law requiring priests descend from Aaron. Jesus was appointed high priest by the power of his resurrection. (7:16).

Levitical priests offered the blood of bulls and goats as sacrifices for sin. Jesus offered his own body. (10:4-5)

Levitical priests mediated a covenant between God and man that was written on stone. Jesus mediates a covenant written on our hearts. (8:10).

Jesus is the real high priest, in the very presence of God, appointed for eternity, sacrificing an effectual sacrifice, and mediating God’s final and perfect word.

Let’s not play church. Let us be the true church.


Cecil May III is the minister for the Parkway Church of Christ in Fulton, Kentucky.

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