I believe that God has made me and all creatures (The Small Catechism, The Apostles' Creed, First Article, Part 1)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. No matter where you begin, if you try to get at the First Article of the Creed without Jesus as your Mediator, you will discover a God who wants you dead. Without Jesus, God is not Creator. He is Judge, and His wrath appears to break loose everywhere. God is destroying whole cities with tornados. He stirs up war and bloodshed. He does nothing about the children who are dying from starvation by the tens of thousands every day. How could God do these things? Because He is God, and you're not. But it's more than that: "There is none righteous, no, not one.Â There is none who understands. There is none who seeks after God. There is none who does good, no, not one."Â "Their throatÂ isÂ an open tomb. With their tongues they have practiced deceit."Â "Whose mouthÂ isÂ full of cursing and bitterness."Â "Their feetÂ areÂ swift to shed blood.Â Destruction and miseryÂ areÂ in their ways.Â And the way of peace they have not known."Â "There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Romans 3:10-18). From what St. Paul describes, how can God not destroy what He has made?
That is what it means to approach the First Article without Christ. Without Christ, God is a stony wall. He offers no apologies--no words which bring comfort. He is blameless in His wrath because you rebelled, you broke his Law, you tried to play creator, so you are to blame for everything. But now, St. Paul writes, "the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed...the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe" (Romans 3:21,22). For Christ's sake, it has been revealed to us that God does not want to be known as Judge but as Creator and Father, and in Jesus that's exactly what we receive by faith. The wrath of God is quenched. Everything in fallen creation has met its end in Jesus' blood and death. In Christ's resurrection, the Father has placed all things under His authority so that we, as Jew and Gentile, may be reconciled to God on account of Christ and receive as creatures all we need for this body and life with thanks and praise. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is your health and salvation! Let all who hear Now to His temple draw near, Joining in glad adoration! (Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, LSB 790:1)