A few weeks ago, on the church sign by the highway, I shared with our community a quotation that stated, "Without music, life would be a mistake." Have you ever wondered why this is true? What is it about music that when its present in our lives . . . makes a huge difference? When I was in high school I remember trying out for the football team. Before practice, and I would imagine before every game, the team would listen to hard heavy metal music to pump themselves up.

Why? What is it about music that alters human behavior? In an article written for the Newport Academy we find this statement, "According to neuroimaging studies, music directly impacts the area of the brain that are most closely associated with emotion. These include the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the neuropathways that transmit dopamine. Furthermore a study done with electroencephalograph data found that emotional responses are activated or enhanced in response to changes in the music - such as the introduction of a new instrument or motif, or an increase in pitch, volume, or tempo. This might help explain why certain songs bring up more emotions."

Music directly impacts the human brain, transmitting dopamine which then in turn changes human emotion. What's fascinating to consider is the power of Christian music on the human brain, especially in church. I remember having to go to a Catholic Church on the campus of Notre Dame for a school project. We had to experience another worship context outside of our own and write a paper on our experience.

While I sat there waiting for the services to start, suddenly behind us . . . one could hear the most angelic voices I have ever heard singing a processional song for the priest and assistants to enter into the church. While the experience was not new to me, I have never experienced this with such a beautiful sound. The music was in  Latin. I have no idea what message was being sung, but I remember how I felt a that movement . . . I felt . . . closer to God.

This Sabbath, we have a special guest by the name of Andrew Ezpeleta. He visits us from the Eastgate Seventh-day Adventist Church and is here with his wife to bless our congregation with . . . music. Our hope and prayer is that your amygdala, hippocampus, and neuropathways be engaged, ignited, and moved to produce a dopamine rush that will give you the experience of . . . being closer to God. May you, this Sabbath day, received a rich blessing from the program today!

So, until the next time, this is Pastor Tello reminding you that thoughts do change lives!


Pastor Howard Tello