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If He Had Not Come
(Playing ~ "Joy to the World")

This has been my favorite Christmas story for as long as I can remember.

It was Christmas Eve, and after Bobby had carefully hung his stocking by the fireplace he went off
to bed. Usually Bobby did not like to go to bed early, but tonight he was eager to get to sleep so
as to be sure to wake up early to see his gifts.

For their daily Bible lesson that day Bobby and his father had read Jesus' own words to his friends
found in John 15:22. Five words had stayed in Bobby's mind, and he kept saying them over and over
again until he fell asleep. They were the words, "If I had not come."

It seemed as if he had not been asleep any time when a cross, harsh voice said: "Get up, get up,
I tell you. It's time to get up."

Thinking about the skates he wanted and the flashlight and the motor and the books for which he'd
been wishing, Bobby got up and hurried into his clothing and went downstairs. But all was still.
No one was there to greet him; no stocking hung beside the fireplace; no wreaths were in
the window; no splendid tree was there.

Hurrying to the door, Bobby looked down the street. The factory was open and he could hear the
rumble of the machinery. He grabbed his cap and sweater and raced down the street to the
factory door, and there stood a grim-looking foreman.

"What's the factory running for on Christmas?" asked Bobby.

"Christmas?" asked the man. "What do you mean? I never heard that word. This is one of our
busy days, so you clear out of here."

Filled with wonder, Bobby hurried on down the street toward the stores, and to his amazement he
found them all open. The grocer, the dry goods man, the baker, each one was busy and cross,
and each said in reply to his question, "Christmas? What's Christmas?"

When Bobby tried to explain, "It's Jesus' birthday," and that the first part of the word
"Christmas" means "Jesus," he was gruffly ordered to move along, as this was a very busy day.

Going round the corner, he thought: "I'll go to church, our own church, for there's to be a
Christmas service there." All at once Bobby stopped short before a big vacant field, and he
mumbled to himself: "I guess I'm lost. I was certain our church was here. I know it was."
Then he noticed a signboard in the center of the big vacant lot, and on going nearer to it
he read the words, "If I Had Not Come."

Suddenly the meaning of it all dawned on the puzzled boy, and he said, "Oh, I know,
'If I Had Not Come' ~ that's why there's no Chrismas day nor any church."

He was wandering along in a gloomy way, when he thought of the box of toys and games his class
had sent to the Orphans' Home, and he said, half aloud, "I guess I'll go up to the Home and see
the children get their presents." But when Bobby reached the place, instead of seeing the name
of the Home over the gateway, he read these same five words, "If I Had Not Come" and
beyond the archway there was no fine building.

Seeing an old man, feeble and ill, by the roadside, Bobby said: "I guess you're sick, mister.
I'll run to the hospital and tell them to send an ambulance for you." But when he reached
the grounds no splendid building was to be seen, nothing but signs and posters bearing
the words, "If I Had Not Come."

As Bobby hurried back to the corner where the Rescue Mission had been he said, "I'm sure
they'll take the poor old man in there, anyway." But men with angry faces were gambling and
swearing and over the door Bobby saw, instead of the name of the mission, the same words,
"If I Had Not Come"

Thinking still about the poor old man, Bobby hurried home to ask his father and mother to help him.
On his way across the living-room he waited to look up in a Bible these words, "If I Had Not Come."
Turning past the pages of the Old Testament, he found that there was no new part. After Malachi
all the pages were blank, and as he held them up to the light on each one he could see a faint
outline of the words, "If I Had Not Come."

With a sigh Bobby said, "Oh, what a terrible world this is ~ no Christmas, no churches, no homes
for little orphan children, no hospitals, no rescue missions, no almshouses, nothing but jails and
gambling-houses and police patrols and sickness and wrong and ....... "

Just then there came the sound of bells. The chimes were playing. Bobby listened, and sure enough
it was his favorite hymn "Joy to the world, the Lord is come," and then he heard his mother's
cheery voice saying, "Merry Christmas, Bobby!"

With a joyous bound Bobby was out of bed, and kneeling down, he said, "O Lord Jesus,
I thank You thatYou did come, and I'll show You how thankful I am by always trying to be
the kind of boy You want me to be."

~ by Nan F. Weeks
from the book
Christ and the Fine Arts

(You may see my page entitled "One Solitary Life"
for an explanation of material I have used from that book.)

Had He not come, there would be no .......

Easter ~ "He is Risen"
Declaration of Independence for the USA;
(remember our country was founded on Christian principles)
Thanksgiving; and nothing to be thankful for
Civilization; lawlessness would prevail

And no ..

Love
Hope
Faith
Forgiveness
Joy
Peace
Caring and Kindness
True Friendships
Laughter and Good Cheer
Beautiful Music
Truth
Goodness
Beauty
Mercy
Freedom
or
Hope of Eternal Life !!

Had He Not Come

Had He not come; Ah me! ah me!
No Joyous day, no lighted tree,
No gifts beneath for children's joy,
No Blessed Giving our employ,
Had He not come.

Had He not come!
No burst of Song from White-robed choir,
No star above the Altar, higher,
To lead our thoughts and eyes afar
To other brightly gleaming Star;
Had He not come.

Had He not come!
What Way to God?
Just blindly groping, on we plod;
No certainty! No Voice to say
With accent sure, "I am The Way!"

Had He not come!
Where Truth to find?
A thousand voices to our mind
Call This and That, to age and youth,
But only He, "I am The Truth!"

Had He not come!
What hope beyond the narrow berth
Of bare six feet of mounded earth?
We hear His words with bated breath:
"I am The Life; I've conquered death."
For He has come!

~ Ava L. Wright

In His Image ~ Free Christian Backgrounds

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