If He Had Not Come ~ A Schoolhouse Review

          Christmas was not a big deal when I was a kid. I mean, I remember the tree and all the presents, having to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what I wanted for Christmas. But it was all empty of any real meaning. I knew it even then.  Not once do I recall hearing about Jesus. Through the years I fear the greater meaning behind this day is lost.  Sure some think of, maybe display, a nativity scene or a Bethlehem star and the mention of Jesus may come in passing.  So many just do not understand or see WHY we need a savior and where we would be without Him.  When I had the opportunity to review a copy of If He Had Not Come from David Nicholson, I thought this was an excellent tool for discussion. We do not celebrate Christmas ourselves but we do use this time that the whole world partakes in, to be missionaries to others that His beautiful truth may be shared and celebrated.

 

 

The author, David Nicholson is a retired teacher and missionary who brings back to life this classic Christmas story which he fondly shares with his own children.  Originally written by Nan F. Weeks, If He Had Not Come is a beautiful retelling of the true beauty of Christmas. This story, so simple and yet so deep, reminds us all of the true impact Jesus made.  This book is full of beautiful colorful illustrations which bring the story to life.  As you read you will find yourself weeping a bit, as you consider what Christmas is truly all about.

The story begins on Christmas Eve. Bobby and his dad read John 15:22 the words “If I had not come”. So many small words, short phrases, with so much power.  Bobby falls asleep and when he wakes, he finds himself in a world where Jesus had never come! Imagine, no Christmas tree with presents underneath, no churches,  shelters, food pantries, or hospitals even. And no one had even heard of Christmas in this upside down world Bobby found himself in.  I admit, I cried, a lot, as I read and considered going to the place where my family worships only to find nothing there…..Sadly in some ways, this is a reality to many today. The meaning and purpose, lost, amidst gift lists and store sales, lights and decorations and parties…..SO many that do not have Jesus at the center of it all.

The story is told in such a beautiful way;  really holds your attention. The way the details are al woven together; how visual it is too for the littler ones.  My daughter was captivated by the illustrations (I admit I was too; so traditional – original ) As the story proceeds it really does make you even more aware of how great what Jesus did really is.  Where would we be if it were not for His birth?  I think too, it calls us to a closer examination of our faith.  Are we truly living for Him as He deserves we ought to? I pondered as I read even, how great a witness we could be, as a body, were we as present and charitable (not just in word but in deed) We walked away from this, truly feeling even more of a burden for the lost; a desire within the be more active as a witness for the great gift which is Jesus Christ.

A beautiful addition to this book can be found all the way at the back of the book. It begins with a list of interactive topics for families and teachers (my son wants to bring this to school for them to all read together in fact!) For older kids this is really going to get them thinking. I had to chew on a few of these myself.  There is also Going Deeper, helping us to explore even more, all that the Bible says about His birth and the greater value of it all.  We like to Bible hunt, seeking the topical scriptures on a variety of things; it is so important for us to be familiar with His Word and what is says about all things. So there are some great opportunities to exercise just that! There is also a gospel “Salvation” message at the back of this book; this led to great discussion as to true salvation and repentance; much searching even more for what the Bible says on how we must be saved. I say again, a god exercise in discernment. I was surprised how my son was able to put together and show me himself, what the Word says about it all too. Be as a Berean and search those scriptures; many gems within for us to seek 🙂

If He Had Not Come can be purchased for $18.95; as a large hardback. This book is recommended for ages 6 and up. My three children (9, 6, 3) and I truly enjoyed this story and read it again and again.   This is a wonderful gift, or tradition to begin in your family.  It is also available in ebook format for $3.99.

As this season comes upon us let us not just remember but share with everyone we meet he beauty of Jesus and take pause to reflect on “If He had not come…” showing love and thanksgiving !!

 

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To learn more about David Nicholson and the book If He Had Not Come visit their website or Facebook page.

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