Sharing the Christmas story is one of my favorite times of the year. I love reflecting on the birth of Jesus Christ, and the pure love that He showed by coming to this earth and living as a man. There is so much to love about Christmas, especially the tenderness of people's hearts toward the Lord and each other.
I am always fond of a good Christmas book that exalts the Lord rather than the trappings of this world. It seems everywhere we turn, in every store, there is reminders of gifts, Santa, and vanity that means nothing compared to the true story. When I received "If He Had Not Come" from David Nicholson, I was excited to review it!
"If He Had Not Come" is a lovely, large, hardcover book that is 36 pages long. It is geared towards children ages 6 and up. It is a wonderful book for families to read together for the holidays. People of all ages, even adults, will enjoy this book.
The story line: Young Bobby was greatly anticipating Christmas morning, and just before going to bed, his father read him a Scripture verse. As he fell asleep, dreaming of the presents he would open the next morning, the words from John 15:22 kept going through his thoughts. Those words, "If I had not come" were spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bobby was soon awakened by a voice calling out to him, yet when he went to open his gifts, they were all gone! The story continues with Bobby traveling all throughout his small town, looking for help in all the familiar places that he knew, yet finding nothing but cold, misery, and hardened faces. All the while, the words "If I had not come" echoed through his mind.
Finally, the truth becomes reality to Bobby, and he is able to realize the real emphasis of Christmas - the coming of Jesus. His eyes are opened to all the wonderful things that are a part of his life and his community, that are only present due to the influence of Christianity. He sees the hollow emptiness of a life without Christ, and in the end, realizes the true meaning of Christmas.
The author: This is a classic Christmas story that was written by Nan F. Weeks, and originally published in 1938. David Nicholson was so touched by this story that he has reintroduced it to our generation. The soft, touching illustrations of this modern copy are provided by Charles Jaskiewicz.
The cost: The hardcover copy is $18.95 and the e-book is $3.99. In the front of the book, it states that the author is donating all proceeds to the National Christian Foundation.
Extras: I love that this book is more than just a story. In the back of the book, you will find several helpful extras, including a list of interactive questions and discussion starters that can be used in a group or family setting, a short Bible study, and the complete Gospel message, outlining the plan of salvation. These pages would be wonderful to use after reading the book as a family or in a children's Sunday School class.
My recommendation: My family and I absolutely loved this book. The deeper thoughts and message behind the story moved me to tears as I reflected on the coming of Jesus Christ and His influence on this world. I am so happy to own this book, and highly recommend it for families with small children to read at Christmas. It will definitely help Christian families keep the true meaning of Christmas at the center of their celebrations.
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