As a lectionary preacher who works mainly on Sundays, I have spent much of my preaching life grazing the well-fertilized pastures that my tradition has laid out for me. Sometimes I press up against the fence, drooling over an especially tasty-looking morsel from 1 Chronicles or 2 John, but on the whole I stay where I am supposed to stay. Recently, however, presented with the opportunity to choose my own lections on an ordinary Wednesday, I bolted through the open gate and preached on Proverbs for the first time in my life.
Proverbs shows up exactly once in the three-year Episcopal lectionary, on a Sunday in the dead of August. If I knew whom to ask about this decision, I would, since it seems a curious one in a world full of proverbial wisdom.
“Forbidden fruit makes many jams.” I saw that one on the fluorescent signboard in front of Cool Springs Methodist Church, just a couple of miles from my home.