I'm always looking for new ways to teach the kids the true meaning of Christmas. It's so hard in this world that is bombarding us with materialistic reasons to celebrate this day so I was excited to get to review If He Had Not Come, by David Nicholson. The book is recommended for ages 6 and up and is $18.95 for a hardbound book like we got to review, or just $3.99 for an ebook.
Before we started reading the book, I asked the kids what they thought it would be like if Jesus had never come. They had some answers, like "sad" or "boring." I was just curious of their thoughts before beginning. Princess P and I had read through the book during soccer practice a few weeks before so she and I knew what the story line was.
Terrific T read the book aloud to us. It's only 40 pages so didn't take too long to read. Every other page is a full bleed page picture that is really beautiful. Charles Jaskiewicz illustrated this and deserves big props for capturing the feeling and story so well in pictures.
If He Had Not Come is the story of a young boy who goes to sleep on Christmas Eve with John 15:22 on his mind. The verse says, "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin," The rest of the book follows this boy as he discovers what would be different if Jesus had not come in the flesh to the world.
It was a very sad and different world than we know today and eye opening to the kids to think about the world like this. It was also eye opening to see that everything in our lives that is good is due to Jesus coming as a baby and then dying for our sins. Think about it!
There are questions and activities in the back to aid in our discussion with the kids about the book. We chose to do the one that asked the kids to make a list of things that would be different in your life if He had not come. They came up with this:
We likely wouldn't foster (why do for others? why care for the least of these?), wouldn't go to church, would have different friends. Then it hit them that Big Daddy and I MET at church...if there wasn't a church we likely wouldn't have met and they wouldn't be here!! T added that the world would be full of sin and evil and would be...bad to the bone (and not in a good way!).
This book was a gentle reminder of the true meaning of Christmas and I liked that they included the ways to discuss and apply what we learned. The book ends with a list of ways to help you celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. I'm looking forward to revisiting this book in the next few weeks as we set up our tree and start looking more towards the big day.
If He had not come...how sad would we all be. :(
Check out more info about this book and author by checking out his facebook page or clicking the link to see what other crewmates had to say about it.