The Super Bowl game this last Sunday was special on a number of different levels.  While I am heartbroken that the sport can cause life-diminishing and life-ending brain trauma, I remain a fan for a variety of reasons.   The sport teaches people, young and old, about teamwork, overcoming challenges, and the value of grit. Sunday’s game certainly highlighted these values and was entertaining to watch for all of us who have grown up loving the sport.

That said, however, there was a standout moment in the game and it happened during the half time show.  The immensely successful Lady Gaga took the stage in a superbly choreographed show.  But what struck me was when she sang her song, “Million Reasons.”

While I am not a mind reader, I believe it is not a stretch to say the lyrics get into a variety of issues including heartbreak, being let down, frustration, and having faith that is challenged.  Lady Gaga, who grew up in the Catholic Church, inserts the following lyrics into her song.

I bow down to pray.  I try to make the worse seem better.  Lord show me the way…Can’t you give me what I’m needin’, needin’, every heartbreak makes it hard to keep the faith.

These words are those of a person whose faith has been challenged by life, something that happens to each and every one of us.  What moved me greatly was to have her sing these lyrics on national television and to observe her willingness to make reference to prayer, faith, and our Lord.

While some may condemn her for her inclusive progressive social values, and a few for her dance moves, my hope and prayer is that she will move people who are otherwise unmoved to begin to think about prayer, faith and God in their own lives.

Jesus was deliberate about the people he chose to serve others and spread his teachings.  If you look at their biographies, I believe that each one of them would have been happy to have been on stage with Lady Gaga.  Not because they could necessarily dance or sing, but because they understood you have to meet people where they are to reach them.  What a great lesson for us all.

I celebrate whenever God shows up in mainstream culture in a non-threatening, inviting way.  While a life-long fan of football, I’m a new fan of Lady Gaga and her Gaga expressions of faith.  May we all be so bold to lead others to our Lord who loves and forgives us all.