Christmas is a time of tradition in our family, as it is for so many. One of our traditions is reading favorite Christmas books together every year. This year we have added If He Had Not Come by David Nicholson to our list of favorites after reviewing it for the Schoolhouse Crew.
This book tells the story of Bobby, a little boy who goes to sleep on Christmas Eve dreaming of the presents he will find under the tree in the morning. As he drifts off to sleep, he repeats the words from the daily Bible reading he had with his dad before bed, from John 15:22:
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.
Instead of Christmas decorations and presents, Bobby “wakes up” to a world without Jesus. It’s really more than just a Christmas story — this shows in simple terms what our lives would be like without the impact that Jesus has made on the world. No hospitals, no homeless shelters, no churches, and no Christmas holiday, among many other things that we take for granted.
In the end, all is restored to normal and Bobby realizes that the best Christmas gift is Jesus Himself, alive in Bobby’s heart.
David Nicholson has brought to new life this original story by Nan F. Weeks from 1938. Mr. Nicholson first heard the story 30 years ago and has read it to his children and now his grandchildren every year. It is his hope to share the message of Jesus and this simple yet powerful story with new generations.
Features of the Book
At the back of the book, there is a page explaining the Gospel message and plan of salvation. I like this section because it’s always my prayer that more souls are won and come to know Jesus. It also gives me the opportunity to go over this again with my girls so that they can take it in and consider it in their own hearts.
There is a list of suggested activities for parents that could also be used in a Sunday School setting. These aid in further discussion and adding object lessons to the reading of the book.
This book is a quality hardcover with glossy pages. It has a warm, inviting cover illustration that my girls noticed right away. They wanted to look through the pages at the illustrations, which are realistic and reflect the power of the message. It is not a “happy” looking picture book inside because the idea of living in a world without Jesus is not a happy thought. Even the colors are different. They are warm and colorful at the beginning and end of the book, but change to darker shades and more black and white without Jesus. This message was communicated clearly to all three of my girls (ages 5, 7, and 12).
Although this is a children’s book, it is really for anyone who needs to hear the Gospel, realize the impact Christ has made on the world, and be reminded of why we celebrate His birth at this time of year. He is the light of the world during this dark season!
The Fine Print
If He Had Not Come may be ordered for $18.95. The book is recommended for ages 6 and up.