A Riddle about Confession from Homer (not Simpson)

This riddle is about 2,000 years old, but the old ones are the best.  A guy met some fishermen returning to the dock after a day at work. He asked them how their day had been. They responded with this riddle, “What we caught, we threw away; what we didn’t catch, we kept. What did we keep?”


The answer tells us a lot about confession.


What did the fishermen throw away? Not fish. Sure they could have thrown the small ones back, but how could they have kept fish which they hadn’t caught?  The answer is that they were trying to catch something that they already had, but wanted to get rid of. Like say, hair lice. When they caught the little monsters, they threw them away, but it the lice were too quick to catch, the men were stuck with them.


In this regard lice are like our sins. We got them. They can cling to us like bad habits and bad attitudes.

If we can catch them, we can pull them off ourselves, and become pest free.  For lice, the fishermen just had their fingers, for sin, we have confession.

By confessing sin, we capture it and give it to Christ, Who frees us. Now, no one would catch a louse and hold on to it, would they?  But we often self-destructively cling to the evil in our flesh. Confession means not only admitting that the sin is ours, it is to reject it, and regard it as the little blood sucker that it is. How do we get rid of it? Give it to Jesus. He nailed it to the Cross where it can no longer harm you.  This is what the catechism teaches about confession-

What is Confession?

Confession embraces two parts: the one is, that we confess our sins; the other, that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the pastor, as from God Himself, and in no wise doubt, but firmly believe, that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven.  (Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” John 20:22)

What sins should we confess?

Before God we should plead guilty of all sins, even of those which we do not know, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. But before the pastor we should confess those sins alone which we know and feel in our hearts.

The Bible also tells us, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”


So, here’s to confession, and the freedom it brings.




Directions to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

directions-to-good-shepherd-lutheran-church5 Entrada Del Norte
Edgewood, NM 87015

Edgewood, NM is located on I-40 approximately 25 miles east of Albuquerque, NM

From I-40:

Take Exit 187 (Edgewood)
Go South on Rt. 344 .25 miles
Go West (right) on Rt. 333 (Old Rt. 66) 1 mile
Turn left on Entrada Del Norte
Church is on the corner of Rt. 333 and Entrada Del Norte

Do You Need Help?

Marriage and Family Counseling, Grief Support

Pastor Spomer offers confidential Christian Counseling at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church by appointment.  He can also make referrals to other local counseling services.  Please call the church office at (505) 281-2013 for an appointment.


  • Al-Anon meets at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Sundays at 4:30 pm and Thursdays at 6:30 pm.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in the Edgewood, NM area:
    • Mondays 7:00 pm – Old 66 Group – Christ Unity Church (Dinkle & Deanne, 1st rd west of Thunder Mountain Water Co)
    • Tuesdays 7:00 am – Upon Awakening – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
    • Wednesdays 7:00 pm – Old 66 Group – Christ Unity Church (Dinkle & Deanne, 1st rd west of Thunder Mountain Water Co)
    • Thursdays 7:00 am – Upon Awakening – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
    • Fridays 7:00 pm – Edgewood Valley Group – Valley View Christian Church (Hwy 344 & Church Lane)
    • Saturdays 7:00 pm – Cottonmouth Group – Holy Cross Episcopal Church (3.5m North of I-40 on NW corner of Hill Ranch Rd)

Drug Addiction

  • Narcotics Anonymous meetings in the Albuquerque, NM area:
    • Mondays 7:15 pm – Grace Baptist Church (401 West Irene Avenue, Moriarty, NM)
    • Thursdays 7:15 pm – Grace Baptist Church (401 West Irene Avenue, Moriarty, NM)
    • Fridays 7:15 pm – Grace Baptist Church (401 West Irene Avenue, Moriarty, NM)

Unplanned Pregnancy

Care Net, www.carenetabq.org, is a non-profit counseling and pregnancy resource center committed to providing women and men with accurate, up-to-date information in order to make informed decisions about pregnancy, sexual health, and relationships.  Because everyone should have access to this information, all our services are free of charge.

Care Net respects your right to privacy.  All communication is kept confidential.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, looking for pregnancy help or pregnancy counseling, have questions or would like to talk with a counselor, please call us at:

505-880-0882 (NE Heights location)
505-281-5408 (Moriarty location)
505-565-3838 (Valencia County)
505-896-2305 (Rio Rancho)
or 24 Hour Help Line

Financial Difficulty

Crown Financial Ministries, www.crown.org, was founded by Howard Dayton and the late Larry Burkett with the vision, “To see the followers of Christ in every nation faithfully living by God’s financial principles in every area of their lives.”  Crown Financial Ministries trains and equips counselors to teach Biblical principles for managing personal finances.


Christian Links

Here are a few links for more information about the Christian faith, Christian resources, and ministries.

Lutheran Churches in the Local Area
Lutheran Schools in the Local Area
Lutheran Links
  • Focus on the Family – Focus on the Family is dedicated to strengthening marriages, supporting parents and speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves.
  • Family Shield Ministries – Family Shield Ministries’ mission is to educate and equip people through the power of the Gospel, to know Christ, grow in His Word and strengthen individuals and their families.
  • Lutheran World Relief – LWR works with partners in 50 countries to help people grow food, improve health, strengthen communities, end conflict, build livelihoods, and recover from disasters.
  • Lutheran Bible Translators – an independent mission organization dedicated to helping bring people to faith in Jesus Christ by making the Word of God available to those who do not yet have it in the language of their hearts.
  • Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots – A cross-cultural ministry sharing Jesus Christ with God’s people in remote areas of Canada, Alaska and the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington.
  • Orphan Grain Train – Orphan Grain Train is a Christian volunteer network that shares personal and material resources with needy people in America and around the world. Grain Train volunteers gather donations of clothing, medical supplies, food, Christian literature, and other aid to meet real needs. The Orphan Grain Train movement is a loving response to Jesus Christ’s example as a servant and His love for us.
  • Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ – OAFC is a recognized service organization of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod training youth to boldly proclaim Jesus to the lost.