Regarding service, Wright refers the description in Rodney Stark’s The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal, Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force …. of how Christians in Asia Minor reacted to the coming of plague in their cities —
The rich, the well-to-do, and particularly the doctors would gather up families and possessions and leave town. … But the Christians, often among the poorest, and many of them slaves, would stay and nurse people, including those who were neither Christian, nor their own family members, nor in any other way obviously connected to them. Sometimes such people got well again; not all diseases were necessarily fatal. Sometimes Christians would themselves catch the disease and die from it. But the point was made, graphically and unmistakably: this was a different way to be human.
(pp. 236; emphasis in original).