This morning (and tomorrow morning) the daily Mass lectionary dips its toe very briefly into Ecclesiastes, and then scuttles away again. It isn’t among the more popular books of the Bible, whether with lectionary compilers or ordinary readers.
There are large swathes of the Bible largely ignored by readers, less for being too boring (although some certainly is) than for being too awkward.
Once, as a curate, I did a talk on bits of the Bible we didn’t read very often, and preached on even less. I selected a passage from Ecclesiastes for cynicism and world-weariness, some verses from Job where God turns seriously sarcastic, and a selection of erotic poetry from the Song of Songs.
Afterwards, the vicar commented that he wasn’t sure I should have read those verses from the Song of Solomon in a church service. I protested; after all, the implicit censorship of scripture was my theme. Rather grudgingly he accepted my argument for reading them, but then added “But you didn’t have to sound as though you were enjoying it.”
There is rather more life, and a rather more rounded view of life, in the Scriptures than is usually admitted by those who read them, especially those who read them in church.