Grand Designs continues to be one of the most highly watched TV shows. By the end of most episodes a fantastic new or restored building has emerged but often at great expense – financially and emotionally! It reminds us that there is a cost to building something great.

‘Imagine yourself as a living house’ wrote CS Lewis. ‘God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor here, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.’

Many who’ve been going through some kind of personal change in their lives have read this extract from Lewis’ Mere Christianity and found it really helpful. But this simple picture of God constructing something beautiful can also be applied more corporately – to a family, a community, a church, a city, a region or a nation. Building anything of worth is not straightforward, as Grand Designs makes clear, but if the Master Builder is truly at work, then build on. There’s a palace under construction!