In the last 30 years, neuroscience has contributed much to our understanding of human identity, passion, and aspiration. Brain scan studies are revealing some amazing things about how we think, what we cherish, and why we pursue a particular direction in life.

Recently, architects have become interested in what brain scans can uncover about space, design, and aesthetics. For instance, the sight of an attractive product or landscape or environment can trigger the part of the motor cerebellum that governs hand movement. Instinctively, we reach out for attractive things: beauty literally moves us. Architects have always known we are drawn to good design, but they were not really sure why. This is starting to change. German researchers recently found that having people just glance at shades of green can boost creativity and motivation. Window views of landscapes have been found to speed patient recovery in hospitals.

All of this is reason to believe why it is important to attend church, not just think about it, worry about it, or feel guilty. The worship of the church has forever used beauty as a door to God. Surrounded by rapturous music, the beauty of the liturgy, lessons read and interpreted, and the aesthetics of the sanctuary space itself; it’s all shaped to help us reach for God, the worship of all beauty.