Throughlines at Rehoboth Christian School

Recently, Rehoboth Christian School adopted a philosophy of teaching and learning called Teaching for Transformation(TFT for short). This approach allows schools to think deeply and intentionally not only about the faith-filled content of their academics, but also the faith-forming practices for both students and faculty. As part of becoming aTFT school, institutions are asked to wrestle with 10 Throughlines—biblical themes that they want to see lived out by their students and incorporated into the learning experiences across grades and subjects.

TFT provides ten Throughlines as a starting point, but engagement is richer if each school “makes them their own”—choosing ideas, titles, and images that reflect the specific cultural context of their institution. At Rehoboth, that process naturally pointed us to biblical themes and expressions that resonate with native peoples. For a whole year, staff met to consider, select, and revise the Throughline ideas that we wanted to weave into our curriculum and have our students embody as servants of Jesus Christ.The result has been nothing short of inspiring for all of us, and we are excited to share our work with you!

This list of Throughlines are a collection of biblical roles that help students and teachers live as God’s “peculiar people”—as TFT puts it. They mark the kinds of qualities, behaviors, and practices that a Rehoboth education is seeking to strengthen in its students. These are Hozho[1]-Shalom-bringing roles that each of us need to embody as we engage with the Hoxcho[2]-Chaos of the world around us.

[1] Hozho is the Navajo word most equivalent to Shalom.It bears connotations of harmony and order between people, balance, wholeness, flourishing relationships, and beauty.

[2] Hochxo is the Navajo word most equivalent to the biblical concept of Chaos. The opposite of hozho, hochxo marks disorder between people, evil, broken relationships, and disunity.

Children of God

Diyin God Baʼáłchínígíí Niidlį́ (Navajo)

God An Cha’le (Zuni)

Hij@sde Dios (Spanish)

Thanks to the saving work of Jesus Christ, We are part of God’s family—receiving unconditional love and called to give the same. “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,”(Galatians 3:26). We build a strong relationship with the Lord through communication in prayer and by studying the Bible. We worship the Lord by serving Him as partners to bring His Hozho-Shalom to the Hochxo-Chaos of the world. 

The image is of a potter’s hands shaping a pot as theLord shapes us—bringing us into being and forming us for service as His children. A pot gains its strength and beauty when fired in the kiln, just as the fiery trials of our lives solidify our bond with our Heavenly Father and strengthen our faith. The eagle feathers and wings remind us of the Lord’s provision for His people: “You have seen . . . how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4).

Living Images

God binááłʼtʼée ánihiʼdiilyaii Bee nihidiʼníílʼį́ (Navajo)

Dewusu’ Ho’i De’ona (Zuni)

Imágenes Vivientes (Spanish)

As we read in Genesis, “God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26), which gives each of us both inherent value and a task—to demonstrate to the world what God is like by serving as living pictures of His love, care, and protection for others. We are able to do this because of the saving work of Jesus. 

The painting depicts people “living under the rainbow,” which is a Navajo expression about having a right mind and living a balanced life. Such a life comes from the promises of God fulfilled in Jesus.The various images on the bodies of the people represent the different abilities, passions, and duties of their lives—all working together to put theLord on display.

Truth Seekers

Bóhólníihii Bee tʼááʼanínii Hádaatʼíinii (Navajo)

Kwa’ Hoł K’okshi’ Elleyanishhi’ Deshuynona (Zuni)

Buscadores de la Verdad (Spanish)

The Lord has blessed us with minds to learn about Him, the world, and our place in it. Seeking the truth means wrestling with a variety of perspectives and using discernment to discover what is in step with the nature and will of God as found in the light of His Word. “Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in him” (Proverbs30:5).

The image of the butterfly represents growth and change, and the Truth changes us as it unfolds through our seeking. The triangular shapes in the butterfly wings represent the Triune God, and the paths of the lines represent teaching and learning.

Gospel Walkers

God Bizaad Baa Hweelʼne’go Bá nideilʼaʼ (Navajo)

God An Bena: K’okshi’ Dabanna:nona (Zuni)

Caminantes del Trabajo Evangelio (Spanish)

Jesus proclaimed the Gospel, or Good News, that God’s Kingdom is here! Since the Kingdom comes when and where people do the will of the King, we live and walk by God’s law—bringing Hozho-Shalom to Hochxo-Chaos. As Christ taught, “whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19).

The artist’s image evokes the whole world, with the seed of the Word of God at the center. People spread those seeds as they walk out the message and laws of the Lord, bringing life and flourishing, represented by the growing grass.

Wells of Hope

Iłchoohʼį́ Tó hiináanii Hadaazlį́ (Navajo)

K’ewunan Ants’ummehnanne (Zuni)

Fuentes de Esperanza (Spanish)

Hope is the light that shines in the darkness—a confidence that the Lord is who He says He is and that we can count on His faithful promises. As we read in Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” That Hope, residing in us, needs to be passed on to others in word and deed, like the nourishing water from a well. 

The image combines ideas of water and fire. The water makes reference to the Living Water that flows from us when we believe in JesusChrist (John 7:37-38). The fire picks up on a repeated image in the Bible of the presence of God and specifically of the Holy Spirit.

Diversity Advocates

AłʼąąDadineʼé Yáʼátʼeehgo Áyiilaii Ahiiłʼdanidlį́ (Navajo)

DemłaA:ho’i Detse’mak A:wanikwa (Zuni)

Embellecedores de Diversidad (Spanish)

Diversity is part of God’s beautiful creation, and human diversity should not be glossed over or artificially harmonized. By understanding, celebrating, and embracing diversity as vital to the full expression of human community, we rehearse the Kingdom on earth as it is inHeaven. Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” (Matthew 6:10)and the picture we have of that full Kingdom is “a great multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language standing before the throne and before theLamb.” (Revelation 7:9). 

The figures in the picture, ranging from dark to light are connected by a line of energy and life. It’s a dance. They are celebrating and united by a sacred rhythm. They are all different, but that only serves to enrich the movement that joins them together.

Community Builders

Biłnidahazʼą́ą́gó hashtʼéé ną́ą́hodooʼnííłíí (Navajo)

Łuwala: Dikwahna’ I:willaba’ A:deya’dunona I:kwanik’e:’a (Zuni)

Constructores de Comunidad (Spanish) 

The fullest expression of our being is in community, as the Triune God is in His very nature a community—Father, Son, andHoly Spirit. Throughout the Bible, we see the command to welcome and enfold others as equal people loved by our Creator and united by Jesus, bringing something special to the group as a whole. “So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5).

The image connects the shoulders and heads of four different people painted in the traditional Navajo colors—white, blue, yellow, and black—into a single building block, and the various symbols within each person’s body represent the unique roles they play within the group. The crowd of people in the center of the building block represents the community that is created when everyone brings their gifts and talents together in a united mission.

Beauty Weavers

Tʼáadoo Bináłʼtʼééhígó Nizhónígo Atłʼóoii (Navajo)

Bisa:li Tso’ya A:washenona (Zuni)

Tejedores de Belleza (Spanish) 

We serve the Creator God, and we worship Him when we also create beauty. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm139:14). We praise the Lord by noticing the glory embedded in the world around us and by weaving those expressions into our own creations.

A web serves as the central image of this Throughline. One day, when walking outside, the artist peered into a garbage can full of old, smelly trash that would drive most people away. But there in the mouth of the trash was a perfect spider’s web, a stunning visual reminder that beauty is a powerful contrast to darkness and decay. The cross at the center of the web reminds us that the death and resurrection of Jesus brings life and beauty out of that which was ugly, sinful, and broken.

Creation Keepers

Nahasdzáán biiʼádaalʼyaii Baʼáhweelʼyáanii (Navajo)

A:wona:wilona’ Kwa’ Hoł Demła A:washkona A:wayyubatch’ona (Zuni)

Cuidadores de Creación (Spanish)

“And God saw all that He had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). From the beginning, the Bible tells us that the physical environments and creatures of the world were created good and are loved by God. The Fall corrupted that initial goodness, but we affirm the redemptive power of Christ’s death and resurrection not only as good news for people, but also for creation itself. As the Lord’s partners, we must care for the world around us so that it flourishes as He intended, and we must root out the practices in our lives that bring harm to that which God cherishes. 

Rising out of a human hand are seven ears of corn, representing the fullness of creation as tended and cared for by people.The seven seeds atop the corn stalk represent the fullness of new life that will be birthed from our tending as well. The pictograph-style images are all things that people cultivate and care for on behalf of our Creator God.

Justice Warriors

Tʼááʼákogiátʼeíi ałʼąą dineʼé bichʼįʼ bééhózingo Íidoolííł (Navajo)

Demła A:ho’i A:wan Haydoshna: A:wayyułashhik’yana Yułła:kwe De’ona (Zuni)

Restablecedores de Justicia (Spanish) 

Justice, mishpat in Hebrew, means pulling things back to the good—the way they’re supposed to be; and from the beginning, this was an important role given by God to His people, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17). We work hard to understand and expose injustice and the vulnerability it creates for its victims. As a Kingdom of Priests, God’s representatives to the world, we take steps to bring restoration to those situations and people.

The image of one arm pulling up another represents the call to connect with the vulnerable and work to bring them out of their unjust situations. The images of the arrows represent the intensity and fervor with which we need to pursue this action as people who seek to putGod on display to the world.

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