In the story Bobby and his Father are reading the Bible together on Christmas Eve before Bobby heads off to bed. As they read John 15:22 the words "If I had not come" jump off the page to him. After he falls asleep he hears a voice wake him up abruptly on what he thinks is Christmas morning. Instead he finds himself in a world in which Jesus had never come! There is no Christmas tree with presents underneath, but more importantly there are not any churches, homeless shelters, or hospitals.
I really loved the way this story played out and it is a perfect tool to use to emphasize to children the impact that Jesus has had on our world. Even as adults we sometimes fail to realize the effect that Jesus Christ had on our culture. Think of all the helpful organizations that surround us because people felt led to follow His example. A large portion of our hospitals were started and are still run by churches. Feeding the poor and showing love and respect to others happens because Jesus first loved us.
At the back of the book they have some excellent tools for exploring the book further. There are interactive topics for families and Sunday School teachers to use. These are very thought provoking questions that can really get children thinking. We went through each one and talked about them. The Going Deeper segment has you examine the Scriptures to learn exactly why Jesus came into the world. This really gets you in your Bible and connects the true meaning of why we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Gess is good at looking at Scripture so this part was really fun. They also have some ideas to think about as you decorate your tree.
They also have a gospel message in the back of the book.They use the ABC method which we are very familiar with because we use it every year in our VBS - Admit you are a sinner, Believe in Jesus, Confess Him as your Lord. They preface it with the thought that while we receive gifts at Christmas we must realize that the greatest gift of all is Jesus. They go through the ABC steps explaining each one thoroughly while providing Scripture to support it. At the end is a sample prayer to pray if you want to receive the gift of salvation.
If He Had Not Come sells for $18.95. It is a large hardback with very easy to read font and the pictures are lovely. It is recommended for ages 6 and up. My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think every Christian family would love to have this addition to their home library. It would make the perfect Christmas present for any child. They also have it in ebook form for a lower price.
To learn more about David Nicholson and the book If He Had Not Come visit their website or see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about it by clicking on the banner below.