Every passage in Scripture is equally inspired, but not every passage is equally known or esteemed. Patterns of esteem can be traced, although they differ depending on church location, denomination and preacher preference. So in some parts of the world the books of Samuel are always flavour of the month, while in other parts it is always epistles over narratives. It seems like John and Luke tend to be preferred over Mark, while Romans gets more attention than 2nd Thessalonians, and 1st Timothy more than Titus. Luke 15 gets more attention than Luke 14 and Genesis 22 is preferred to Genesis 10 or 5. Psalms will get more hits than Ezekiel. Not every passage is equally esteemed or known.
This situation does not therefore require us to bring balance by committing to rigid scheduling of a chapter a week for the next 23 years. What it does ask of us is whether we ever break out of the familiar and offer our listeners a taste of the less familiar?
Last night I was asked to preach two messages from Ezekiel. Not my usual hunting ground, but a very enjoyable experience. I should return there more often.
There are reasons why old favourites tend to be old favourites, and mostly good reasons – clear truth, compelling application, familiar plots, etc. But there are reasons why oft avoideds also deserve to be preached – they are equally inspired, after all. So perhaps we should consider periodically offering a series, or at least a stand alone message, on a part of Scripture that might surprise our listeners. Who knows, for some these oft avoideds might become old favourites!