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Echoing Hope

How the Humanity of Jesus Redeems Our Pain

Kurt Willems

About Echoing Hope

Where is Jesus when we need him most? An influential pastor shares how despair can lead us to discover true hope and a deeper relationship with God, helping us emerge stronger and more joyful from times of crisis.

“May this careful look at pain in the context of Jesus’s life open up avenues of discovery and healing.”—Mindy Caliguire, cofounder and president of Soul Care

 
We all experience difficulties and hardships. But how can we learn to live richly in the midst of them? And even grow spiritually because of them? The answer is found in the hopeful humanity of Jesus.
 
As the Son of God, Jesus wasn’t exempt from suffering, disappointment, or injustice. He lived in the real world as a real person. He wept for those he loved. He felt hunger and thirst. He endured temptation, betrayal, and ridicule. He died after being unjustly tortured. And somehow through it all, he embodied hope—by defeating death and opening a new world of life for us.
 
In Echoing Hope, influential pastor and blogger Kurt Willems reveals how understanding the humanity of Jesus can radically transform our identity and empower us to step into our pain-filled world in a new way. Combining rich theological insight with personal stories and practices for response, he shows how we can overcome despair and encounter the beautiful potential of our lives.

Praise

“With the mind of a theologian and the heart of a pastor, Kurt Willems walks us through the problem of pain without resorting to worn-out clichés.”—Brian Zahnd, pastor and author

“Kurt takes us on an authentic, vulnerable journey into faith, hope, and love. We’ll all be better by not just reading but also meditating on this terrifically genuine, relatable book.”—Ben Higgins, star of ABC’s The Bachelor (season 20), founder of Generous Coffee, and author

“An approachable framework for understanding and carrying pain in light of Jesus Christ. Echoing Hope gives us something to hold on to in the midst of suffering.”—Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist and Miracles and Other Reasonable Things

“Every page of this book asks us to ponder, What if Jesus actually gets it? What if Jesus really empathizes with us because he experienced life just like us? You can see Kurt’s pastoral heart as he invites us into the humanity of Jesus to learn from him and love him anew.”—Osheta Moore, pastor and author of Dear White Peacemakers and Shalom Sistas 

Echoing Hope captures the paradox of the life of Jesus—the God who suffers so that suffering doesn’t get the final word. This is a book about the enduring hope that God is with us . . . no matter how bad it gets.”—Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and cofounder of Red Letter Christians 

“Kurt has written a hands-on pastoral guide to engaging gospel faith. Readers who hope for more from the gospel will be informed and empowered by this generative rendering of the truth of Jesus.”—Walter Brueggemann, professor emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary

“I’m so thankful for Kurt’s ability to help leaders grasp the importance of Jesus’s humanity and the role it plays in our day-to-day faith! Echoing Hope is such a crucial work for the season we are living in today!”—Tyler Reagin, author of Leading Things You Didn’t Start and The Life-Giving Leader, founder of the Life-Giving Company, and cofounder of 10Ten Project

“Shockingly few books truly illuminate the humanity of Jesus. But Kurt Willems has given us a rare gift—a beautifully written account of Christ’s humanity and also a tender, vulnerable account of Kurt’s own. To read Echoing Hope is not only to go deeper into Christ’s story but also to go deeper into yours.”—Jonathan Martin, author of How to Survive a Shipwreck and Prototype

Product Details

256 pages | Published by WaterBrook

On Sale Date: Mar 16, 2021

Trim Size: 5-3/16 x 8

Carton Quantity: 24

Sneak Peek

Start reading chapter one Where is Jesus when we need him most? An influential pastor shares how despair can lead us to discover true hope and a deeper relationship with God, helping us emerge stronger and more joyful from times of crisis. None of us live free of difficulties or hardships. But how can we learn to live richly in the midst of them? And even grow spiritually because of them? The answer is found in the hopeful humanity of Jesus. As the Son of God, Jesus wasn’t exempt from suffering, disappointment, or injustice. He lived in the real world as a real person. He wept for those he loved. He felt hunger and thirst. He endured temptation, betrayal, and ridicule. He died after being unjustly tortured. And somehow through it all, he embodied hope—by defeating death and opening a new world of life for us. In Echoing Hope, influential pastor and blogger Kurt Willems reveals how understanding the humanity of Jesus can radically transform our identity and empower us to step into our pain-filled world in a new way. Combining rich theological insight with personal stories and practices for response, he shows how we can overcome despair and encounter the beautiful potential of our lives.

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chelsea Woodward, Publicist
cwoodward@penguinrandomhouse.com / (719) 268-1915
 
“Kurt takes us on an authentic, vulnerable journey into faith, hope, and love. He translates our deepest pain, confusion, joy, hope, doubts, fears, and emotions in a way that can make us all feel less alone. We’ll all be better by not just reading but also meditating on this terrifically genuine, relatable book.”
 —Ben Higgins, star of ABC’s The Bachelor (season 20), founder of Generous Coffee, and author of Alone in Plain Sight
 
“In rare form, Echoing Hope weaves history, theology, story, and practice into an
accessible guide for reframing our scars from reminders of pain to signposts of God’s restoration.”
 —Jon Huckins, author and cofounding director of the Global Immersion Project
 

ECHOING HOPE
By Kurt Willems
A WaterBrook Trade Paperback | On Sale 3/16/21
None of us lives free of difficulty or hardship, and 2020 seemed to drive that fact home more than ever before. From day-to-day struggle to global crisis, we often find ourselves asking why God allows hard things to happen and where Jesus is when we most need him.
 
In influential pastor and blogger Kurt Willems’s powerful debut book, ECHOING HOPE: How the Humanity of Jesus Redeems Our Pain (March 16, 2021, WaterBrook), he shows readers that Jesus isn’t missing when things go wrong. Instead, he is weeping with us every time shalom—complete peace, wholeness, and harmony—is disrupted in our lives. 
 
With the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection at the forefront, Willems opens a conversation about the inevitability of suffering, and yet, how there we can find hope in the echoes of Jesus’s empty tomb. He vulnerably shares how he has tasted the bitterness of pain in his own life, including the abuse he suffered as a child—but how it is the emptiness of the “tomb” that can show the reality of new life. This blend of rich theological insight and personal stories powerfully demonstrates that while Jesus’s presence may not remove our pain, his humanity—and the ways he himself suffered—shows us a better way to walk through it.    
 
“God is in the mess—with me, with you—when everything hurts, redeeming as much as possible from the evil we experience and redirecting it to bring about something good: our transformation,” Willems writes. “And because of his presence, suffering doesn’t get the final word. Love does.”
 
Releasing just weeks ahead of Easter, Echoing Hope is a moving, honest, and ultimately joyful read as Christians around the world look forward to celebrating the resurrection, the empty tomb, and the enduring hope it brings.
 
In an interview, Willems can speak to:
• How we can find hope in Jesus’s humanity and resurrection
• His personal stories of healing from trauma, including childhood abuse 
• Finding hope after an especially difficult year of global crises
• Spiritual practices to uncover and engage hope in our lives
• Myths about God’s will and the nature of suffering (e.g., pain as punishment or a lesson)
• The tension between pain and hope as an Enneagram 7 (the optimist who is wired to avoid pain)
 
For more information, visit www.waterbrookmultnomah.com.
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kurt Willems
 is the founder and pastor of Pangea Church in Seattle. Also a writer, blogger, podcaster and speaker, he maintains the resource website Theology Curator and hosts the Theology Curator podcast. Willems is passionate about taking dense ideas and communicating them in ways that are empowering for people in all walks of life. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and a master's degree in comparative religion from the University of Washington. His wife, Lauren, is a special education teacher. They have two young daughters. For more information, visit www.theologycurator.com. 

ADDITIONAL PRAISE FOR ECHOING HOPE
 
“Does the inevitability of pain rob life of its goodness? Or is it possible for God to redeem pain through Jesus Christ? This is the question addressed head-on in Echoing Hope. With the mind of a theologian and the heart of a pastor, Kurt Willems walks us through the problem of pain without resorting to worn-out clichés. This book will help many people.”
 
—Brian Zahnd, lead pastor of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, and author of Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God
 
“More than ever we need the encouragement and insight of Echoing Hope. We need enthusiastic reminders of Jesus’s humanity and his acquaintance with our vulnerabilities. Every page of this book asks us to ponder, What if Jesus actually gets it? What if Jesus really empathizes with us because he experienced life just like us? You can see Kurt’s pastoral heart as he invites us into the humanity of Jesus to learn from him and love him anew. This is very good news.”
—Osheta Moore, pastor and author of Dear White Peacemakers and Shalom Sistas
 
“Kurt Willems’s book provides an approachable framework for understanding and carrying pain in light of Jesus Christ. I loved the practical invitation to apply and practice Kurt’s insights in our own lives through helpful formation exercises. Echoing Hope gives us something to hold on to in the midst of suffering.”
—Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist and Miracles and Other Reasonable Things
 
“Often, I’m overwhelmed with the simple truth that God came to us. God didn’t just fix things from afar. He connected with us here on earth. I’m so thankful for Kurt’s ability to help leaders grasp the importance of Jesus’s humanity and the role it plays in our day-to-day faith! Echoing Hope is such a crucial work for the season we are living in today!”
—Tyler Reagin, author of Leading Things You Didn’t Start and The Life-Giving Leader, founder of the Life-Giving Company and cofounder of 10Ten Project

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