If He Had Not Come is a wonderful Christmas book that we have recently been given the opportunity to review. It was originally written by Nan F. Weeks, and has been updated and reintroduced by David Nicholson.
David Nicholson is a retired teacher and a short term missionary, who discovered Nan Weeks story when his own children were young. For many years, he read it to them each Christmas, and has now chosen to bring it to today’s generation.
According to the “about” page on David Nicholson’s website, there is very little known about the original author, Nan F. Weeks, other than that she was a teacher and writer of stories and curriculum for children, and that the original version of this story was included in an anthology, Christ in the Fine Arts, by Cynthia Maus, published in 1938. He does ask that anyone who has any further information about Nan Weeks please contact him.
If He Had Not Come is beautifully illustrated by Charles Jaskiewicz . The pictures are classic in style, very timeless, in my opinion. There are interactive discussion topics at the end, for use in families and Sunday School, plus, a going deeper section written by Josh Mulvihill. This book is available here in casebound hardcover for $18.95.
I loved this book. There is no other way to say it. And, I intend for it to be a part of our Christmas tradition from here on in.
If He Had Not Come tells the story of a little boy named Bobby, during one very unusual Christmas. On Christmas Eve, unlike most other nights, Bobby is excited to get to bed and to sleep, so that Christmas morning will come that much sooner. First, though, he and his dad sit by their Christmas tree for their daily Bible reading, which included John 15:22, including the words “If I had not come.” Those words are uppermost in Bobby’s mind as he drifted to sleep.
When Bobby awakens in the morning, he wakes to a somewhat shocking sight, there is absolutely no sign of Christmas! His dad isn’t there, his mom isn’t there making breakfast as she always does. When Bobby runs out of the house and starts looking all around town asking why factories are open on Christmas, as well as stores and other businesses, people didn’t know what he was talking about.
Bobby tries to go to his family’s church, but there is no church, just a sign that says “If I had not come . . .John 15:22”. He sees that sign in many places, like a children’s home, hospital, homeless shelter, etc. Running home, he picks up the Bible from which he and his dad had been reading the night before, only to find that after the book of Malachi, the remainder of the pages are blank, except for a faint outline of writing “If I had not come.” You will want to read the book to find out what happens next!
I appreciate this book because it makes it very simple to understand the message of what this world would be like if He had not come. I know that many non-Christians believe that all of these things would still be here, because they believe people are basically good, and would provide them, but that is not the truth. Any good that is in this world is here only because of the presence of the Holy Spirit, and when Jesus comes back for believers and takes them with him, the Holy spirit will go as well. This book is written for age six and up, and is simple enough for children to understand (including children even younger than age six), yet though provoking enough to make teens and adults think, too. We tend to take for granted the things we have as a direct result of Jesus having come to pay the price for our sin, and this book really brings it home.
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